I began volunteering as an official in 2013 and since then I have progressed from a Timekeeper to my most recent qualification as a Judge Level 2.
I wanted to volunteer in aquatics to give something back to the sport. I have swum for over 12 years and I really wanted to get involved in my sport more than just turning up to training. I am passionate about how swimming develops and I wanted to be involved in the future of swimming.
Improves swimming skill
As an official I get to attend various competitions throughout the year. I find that being able to watch other swimmers and how they swim is invaluable to the way I swim myself and can help to show you where you can improve.
As an official I get a much more detailed knowledge of the rules of the sport and the way it works, this helps to show what we actually can and can’t do in the pool. Officiating also allows you to understand why decisions may be made.
2015 ASA Nationals
I attended the Nationals from Tuesday 4th to Friday 7th August. I wanted to attend the National Championships as an official after I had attended the British Champs earlier in the year for a day to get an insight of how national events are run.
When I received an email suggesting applications were open I applied and was successful. I found the officials were welcoming and all of a high calibre, everybody attending wanted the swimmers to be the best they could be and swim fast!
A personal highlight of the event occurred during the Friday evening session when a swimmer in my lane became national champion for her age group. The surprise and joy she experienced was clear and makes volunteering worthwhile.
I would recommend that other young officials attend the ASA National Champs as it is a unique experience which gives you lots of opportunity to develop as an official and as an athlete/coach. It also gives you the opportunity to stay away from home for a few days and focus on swimming.
Anyone who is thinking about becoming a volunteer, go on to the volunteer section on the ASA website, find out what might suit you and email the volunteer team, who will give you all of the information you need.
Don’t just think about it do it!