Volunteers' Week (1-7 June) helps to recognise the contribution volunteers make to our communities every day. Throughout the week Tennis Scotland will be highlighting a small number of the wonderful volunteer workforce that have helped to grow and sustain the game in Scotland.
President (East of Scotland LTA), Tennis Referee and Club Committee
Barton Park Lawn Tennis Club
What encouraged you to get involved in Tennis/Volunteering:
There has been a fairly simple, and from what I can gather rather common, chronology to my involvement in tennis. Though never involved in the sport as a youngster - I became involved with tennis through the participation of my wife and children in the sport. My first involvement, like many tennis parents was through 'hitting' with my children and feeding them balls during practice sessions. As my children's involvement in tennis developed - so my interest in the sport and competition organisation developed. i soon found myself, along with my wife becoming involved in the junior section at the club - eventually organising and managing one of our teams in the Aegon Junior Leagues.
What do you do out with Tennis? (Job/Other Hobbies):
I am a semi (almost fully) retired Safety, Health and Environmental Management practitioner who's main pastime is playing Golf.
What does your average volunteering day look like:
Club - There tends not to be much to do on a daily basis, but when there are major projects being organised or delivered there is a heavy hands-on involvement.
Officiating (Refereeing) - The two weeks before a competition can become hectic with organisation of draws, scheduling of matches, dealing with queries from players and parents, and potentially organising trophy returns/medals/keepsakes etc.
Officiating (Court Supervising) - Arrive at the venue, prepare the courts/nets etc, get the referee's brief, start matches and commence supervisory duties. Most of the day is spent, on rotation , on and off duty - supervising matches, intervening as appropriate, managing on court disputes, and interacting with players and their parents off court. During all of that you get to watch some excellent tennis...a huge bonus.
Favourite moment when volunteering:
There isn't a single moment- but the buzz at a tournament when the sun is out and play is in full swing...there is absolutely nothing like it!
What would you say to anyone looking to volunteer:
Go into it with your eyes open. You will not be able to keep everyone happy all of the time. Your judgement, knowledge and motivations will be questioned and criticised, usually by people who are not prepared to take on a volunteer role themselves. You will find however, much support from colleagues, parents and players a like - who appreciate what you do and the integrity you will undoubtedly bring to your role. Finally - get involved and make a difference.
Favourite Tennis Player - Ilie Nastase - A genius with a tennis racket in his heyday
Favourite Grand Slam - Wimbledon
Favourite Scottish Tournament - Barnton Park Centenary Challenge
Favourite Tennis Moment - My Son (Scott) and Daughter (Claire) both playing at Wimbledon in the Road to Wimbledon Finals
Local clubs, leagues, regions and districts always have opportunities available for a range of people from all backgrounds and varied experience levels. If you would like to volunteer then please visit https://www.lta.org.uk/volunteering/ for more information on how to get started.