Volunteer case studies - British Gymnastics

Volunteer case studies

Who volunteers within gymnastics?
There is a wealth of people actively volunteering in gymnastics. These individuals fill a variety of different roles, and became involved in the sport in lots of different ways. Below we meet some of these people as they share their volunteer experiences.

Young leader  
Name:Aoife Watson 
Role(s): Volunteer helper (recreation and boys)
Role description: Volunteer coach, responsible for assisting coaches in recreational classes and boys classes. Also involved in local competitions assisting in judging, coaching and fundraising.
Length of time involved in the sport: 12 years.
How did you get involved: Brought as 3 year old to local club to participate in pre-school gymnastics and stayed involved ever since.
What is the best thing about volunteering in gymnastics? Getting to help kids learn new skills and watching them develop.

Regional Welfare Officer
Name:Hollie Styles
Role(s):West Midlands Regional Welfare Officer
Role description:To assist and support the Lead Welfare Officer at BG on a regional level, and to support all the clubs within the area with welfare issues, attend meetings and support the various executive and technical committees.
Length of time involved in the sport:Somewhere near 20 years (including partaking in the sport)
How did you get involved: I was a gymnast, progressed to coaching and since then, being involved with Children’s Welfare in the court arena as part of my job, I volunteered to be the West Midlands Welfare Officer in 2008.
What is the best thing about volunteering in gymnastics: Being able to recognise and support the clubs that need some help in matters relating to welfare, and helping them to take the steps needed in order to comply with legislation and BG’s guidelines and policies.  

Head Coach, Secretary, East Region Committee Member and Competition Organiser
Name: Janine Musson- Volunteer of the year 2011
Role(s): Head Coach, Secretary, East Region Committee Member and Competition Organiser.
 Role Description: As you can see my time is spread between a variety of different roles. All involved me volunteering to help develop gymnasts. Tasks include, mentoring other coaches, supporting volunteers, administrating competitions, and helping to organise county and regional squads. I also takes minutes and organise meetings, deal with club correspondence, collect competition fees and manage competition entries, programmes and on the day activities and produce handbooks.
Length of time involved in the sport: I began volunteering in gymnastics in 1981 and to this day continue within a variety of roles in the East Region.
How did you get involved? I got involved through watching my daughter train, I started off volunteering within a club before progressing into coaching and regional roles.
What is the best thing about volunteering in gymnastics?: When volunteering, there is not the same restriction on your time so a lot of the work involved can be completed when I have free time. The satisfaction that is achieved from gymnasts, watching them develop through the years is very rewarding. Organising competitions and meeting coaches and parents from other clubs both within the region and nationally is gratifying. The friendly attitude of other coaches is good, particularly when meeting them at national competitions and socially.

Club Chairman
Name: Ken Neale - Volunteer of the year 2012
Role(s): Chairman, Treasurer, competition announcer, and general maintenance man
Role Description: Over the years, my role description has lengthened. It includes anything including organising and managing maintenance and cleaning up after the gym parties, running committee meetings and AGM’s, arranging fundraising events and cooking the BBQ food after the club competition. I support the club with local displays and even DJ at the children’s discos. On a more formal note, I have been writing funding applications and last year took on the role of Treasurer.
Length of time involved in the sport: I became involved in 1996 when Bury Spectrum Gymnastics club opened.
How did you get involved?: I became involved when my daughter displayed an interest for the sport. There was no provision in the local area so I helped set up the club to support the local community. My daughter retired in 2000 but I have continued to be involved.
What is the best thing about volunteering in gymnastics?: Volunteering can be very challenging and can take up much time, however this is all outweighed by how rewarding the work is. It is an overwhelming feeling to know that you, yourself, have contributed towards so many kids being given a fantastic experience and opportunities to learn and achieve.
Young event volunteer
Name: Zarah Eve
Role(s): Stewarding, working with media for events, and any other task that needs completing.
Role description:At events, there are many different roles I get to complete, from putting videos of routines on YouTube to working with the gymnasts.
Length of time involved in the sport: I've been participating since I was 3, and volunteering for 4 years.
How did you get involved:I began by participating in Junior Sports Leaders at school, then I went to a Gymnastics Leaders camp which allowed me to advance my knowledge and become more involved in the sport through volunteering at events.
What is the best thing about volunteering: For me, the best thing would be getting to do things and meet different people which wouldn't happen if I wasn't involved in volunteering such as meeting the GB team for the London 2012 Olympics.

Regional Chair (East Midlands)
Name: Paul Lipton
Role(s): Regional Chair (East midlands)
Role description: To manage and develop Gymnastics in the East Midlands region. Bring together all the different disciplines, counties and stakeholders to ensure a smooth running of our sport from a regional perspective.
Length of time involved in the sport: 13 years
How did you get involved?:My daughter was a bouncy and active little lady who was always upside down and rolling about so we decided to take her somewhere where she could roll about in a safe and controlled manner. My plan was to go and get fit at the same time and lose weight whilst she was in the gymnastics class. Unfortunately she wouldn't leave my side so I ended up having to stay in the gym hall whilst she was training and having fun. The wise and clever coach Bill Don then got me to start helping out and the rest is history. I never did lose any weight but my daughter did make it to Scottish and British Championships. 
What is the best thing about volunteering in gymnastics?: There are many things I enjoy about being involved in Gymnastics. But ultimately Gymnastics people are a nice, friendly bunch who can be fierce competitors one minute, then helping each other develop the next. There is something in Gymnastics for everyone. I started as a helper, I became a coach and then I moved in to a Technical Committee role before becoming the overall Chair of our Region.
Assistant coach
Name: Steven Holmes
Role(s):Assistant coach at Catleaps G.C.
Role description:Level 2 General Gymnastics Coach, Level 1 Floor and Vault Judge. I help deliver sessions at Catleaps and also at Middlesex University. I was involved in the Catleaps Gymnastics Leadership Academy and now sit on the London GAP Panel.
Length of time involved in the sport: 3 years
How did you get involved:I became involved in Gymnastics through friends and family in Barking and Dagenham. I participated in Cheerleading and Gymnastics and then moved into coaching and volunteering across the region.
What is the best thing about volunteering in gymnastics?: My main like of volunteering in Gymnastics comes from being able to help others enjoy and develop within the sport. Providing a fun, enjoyable and lasting experience in the sport so that the particpants remain in Gymnastics as long as possible is a great thing. I also enjoy watching people progress within the sport and achieving their aims and goals.


Coach Liason Officer, head coach, and committee member
Name:Kath Kearns
Roles: Volunteer men’s Head Coach, Volunteer coach liaison officer, Acro Level 1 judge
Role Description: Lead the men’s gymnastics section, support the development of new coaches and liaise with the committee to sustain the link between the committee and the coaches.
Length of time: I was a gymnast in Lancaster from age 10 -16 years. I have been a coach at EVGC for 15 years.
How did get involved: My daughter was a gymnast in a recreational class at EVGC. When she had been here about 12 months the head coach asked parents to volunteer to be involved as coaches or helpers and I jumped at the chance. I took my coaching qualifications and my role has developed over the years and now I spend a lot of hours supporting coach development and am actively involved on the club committee.
What is the best thing about volunteering in gymnastics?: The feeling that I am giving something back to the community. Gymnastics is a beautiful challenging sport, my reward is to see all the participants (gymnasts and coaches) having fun. Volunteering has opened doors for me professionally and socially and added to my experiences. Volunteering at EVGC has enabled me to have the opportunities to network at BG conferences and at local community events and to influence the development of a grass roots club with 40 members to its current 450+ members and onward towards our dreams of a brand new purpose built facility providing a legacy for future gymnasts.