Nominating a volunteer for an award: "saying thank you is powerful"

Our Volunteer Awards for 2023 are open for nominations. Have you ever considered nominating a volunteer? This week we talk to a nominator to show that nominating can make YOU feel good too; so it's a win-win. Even if the person you are nominating doesn't progress through to regional or national rounds, they will still receive an email to tell them that they were nominated for one of our Volunteer Awards, and for many that's plenty of recognition! To nominate someone for one of our eight award categories can really show them how much their contribution means to you, your club or the sport as a whole.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you first got involved in athletics?

I work as a printer and around my shift patterns, I coach hammer at Yate and District AC. I’m also a qualified field judge, the club’s webmaster and help with social media as well. The highlight of my athletics career was representing GB on 3 occasions, and this included an international match in Athens. My experiences as a coach and official have also been positive.

How did you hear about the volunteer awards?

I try to keep up to date with social media updates from England Athletics and athletics generally so I can share key information with club members.

What inspired you to nominate someone?

I’m very aware that someone saying thank you for your efforts is very powerful and not everyone is lucky enough to get that appreciation.

Many people propping up our clubs don’t get the recognition they deserve, and this is why I felt it was important to nominate and highlight their achievements.

When your nominee won, how did you feel?

I was immensely proud to see Yate & District AC win SW Club of the Year.

They have been at the forefront of track and field in our area, particularly during the pandemic. I think it gave everyone a lift for the work they had done.

I was also very proud to see a young athlete (James Viner) who I coach, get recognised for his volunteering at the club.

It is a reward seeing the athletes I coach develop and they are also fantastic at showing their gratitude towards me as well.

Has being involved with the Regional Volunteer Awards inspired you, or those around you, to become further involved in athletics or make their own nominations this year?

I think the contribution that James has provided to the club has set an example for others to follow. We certainly have more volunteers involved with the club now.

The awards can also serve as a powerful reminder for us to value our volunteers.

Our membership secretary Ellen Taylor has done an amazing job for several years. Although Ellen is immensely popular and respected at the club, at times she has possibly been taken for granted.

I hope winning an award has helped her realise how much she is respected and valued by all of us.

Why do you think the Regional Volunteer Awards are important?

I think the awards are important as it is so important, we recognise volunteers. In my experiences, volunteers like to be praised and the awards provide a platform to thank people who aren’t normally recognised.

Committee members, team managers, ground staff, organisers and track judges are just a few of the roles that are essential within athletics, but those individuals often are forgotten.

For example, who within a club has honestly thought to thank a treasurer for all their hard work? These jobs can be taken for granted, but without somebody volunteering to do them, the sport cannot function. I believe you have more chance of not only retaining people in the sport, but encouraging them to go above and beyond, if you can make them feel appreciated.

In the 2023 regional volunteer awards, the Club Leader category could be effective way to thank the volunteers in your club that allow you to enjoy athletics and running

Nominate now!