Open Meets and Galas – Volunteers


All meets and galas rely on parents/guardians/friends of the club to join in to make the event work.  Without your help the events just don’t happen.  Most of the jobs are straightforward and fun to do and a great way to get involved with your swimmers passion.  If you are not sure about a role or would like more explanation please contact Rich on [email protected] or Gina, club secretary, on [email protected]

Not all roles require experience and many can be done with a friend so please get stuck in.  The more people who help the easier it is for everyone and the better we run our meets.  If swimmers enjoy coming to a well run meet they will come again and that all makes money for the club!

We would prefer all volunteers to buy a club black volunteer teeshirt but you will be issued with a ID badge at the event.  If you help for two sessions you get lunch/tea and if necessary free parking.  You do not need to pay spectator entry.

Key Role:Technical Officials
Officials are essential for any meet and need to undertake training online to do this.
You start as a timekeeper (this course is on line and takes about an hour) and then move up to being a Judge Level 1 Trainee.  As a timekeeper you will be at the end of the lane and record the time for each event on a sheet.  A stopwatch will be provided.   Once qualified as a Judge Level 1 you can offer your services at away meets which is really fun and a great way to see the racing close up and who knows one day you could officiate at the Olympics.    It is a very worthwhile role. The courses are all on line and we always need new officials.  Please consider this role above all else.    More information about this from Gina or Richard or Kevin on [email protected].

Announcer (one person but two could share)

This is a crucial role at a competitive swimming event. We are happy to mentor anyone who fancies having a go at this. 

The announcer reports to the Meet Manager at the start of the warm up and needs to be a good sight reader and comfortable tackling unfamiliar names. The announcer’s main tasks include announcing each event and heat number; telling swimmers to report to marshals; announcing results/ finalists or award winners. 

The announcer makes the safety announcement at the start of the event and ensures that all lifeguards are in place before the event starts.   

Check out the Swim England Good Club Guide on how to be a meet announcer.

Poolside Set Up

We require a number of volunteers prior to the start of an event to help set up the pool/pool area/equipment. This involves ensuring the pool and the surrounding pool areas are ready for competition. This role is suitable for those who may not be available for the whole session. It’s a great opportunity to be on poolside and see first-hand what is involved in a swim competition.

This includes helping set up the timing equipment, our flags and blocks so being physically fit is essential.  An eye for detail is also important. 

Door / Entry Table – Ticketing & Programmes

This role is to meet and greet spectators at the entry desk as they arrive. This role includes collecting money from spectators for their daily pass and helping with general enquiries. It’s a great job that sets the tone for the event for all those who visit. You will need to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to advertised warm-up times as you’d be surprised how many people arrive at a meet very early!   

You will suit this role if you love meeting people and are super helpful! 

Your responsibilities will be to:

·       collect the float from the club treasurer at the start of the event and return it to the club treasurer at the end of the event 

·       collect the entry fee from spectators and issue wristbands 

·       sell programmes

·       issue spectator refunds – where applicable

Ticket Checker

Your role is to check that those entering into the viewing gallery have tickets. It’s a great opportunity to show visitors and members what a friendly and welcoming club we are.  

Raffle (two people but more could share)

This is a fun and communicative role. The raffle table is located next to the entry table. Your responsibilities are organising the raffle draw, selling the tickets and of course, smiling a lot! You need to collect the float from the club treasurer at the start of the event and return it to the club treasurer at the end of the event.

Club Meet & Greet (two people)

In this friendly and welcoming role you:     

·       greet coaches at the main leisure centre entrance  

·       hand out coaches’ packs and passes for each club as they arrive 

·       direct any queries to the Meet Coordinator   

Officials Coordinator & Host (could be two people)

This role requires you to look after all our lovely officials! 

Your role is to:  

·       meet with officials prior to the start of the competition in the designated official’s area

·       ensure that officials are looked after during the competition and provided with refreshments (water, sweets, biscuits, fruit) whilst on poolside and for the duration of the event  

·       direct officials towards the official’s area at breaks and lunch.

Poolside Refreshments (two people)

Your role is to check that all volunteers/officials on poolside have enough water to drink. This person also hands out sweets to help give flagging officials/volunteers a bit of va-va-voom! A great role for someone who wants to be on poolside where all the action is.  This person also checks that bags are not covering the vents (helps keep us all cool) and collects any rubbish

Safety Officer (one person but two could share)

An important role to make sure that the event runs safely.  This is support role for the Referee who has ultimate responsibilty and Meet Manager who oversee the running of the meet. For your reference, Swim England provides detailed safety guidance for clubs, covering everything from lane management to risk assessments.   A vital role.

The role of the safety officer is to:    

·       liaise with the event referee to complete the appropriate checklist with the referee The checklist is produced by the Swim England (note that the safety checklist must be signed by the referee and the safety officer) 

·       be available to deal with any issues which may include injury or equipment failure (note that the safety officer is not available to do any other job due to the need to be on call for the whole session)

Race Marshalls  (need at least 4 per session)

Your role is on poolside, checking swimmers in for their events and organising them into heats & lane order.  Marshals need to be in position 10 minutes prior to the end of the warm-up and will be instructed on the day as to how the reporting area will be organised. This is a busy, but rewarding job with lots of interaction with swimmers.  There is a marshall at the 3 corners of the pool and one extra by the main marshalling area by the double doors/first aid area.  

Results Recorders (Meet Manager computer) & Electronic Timing (Ares Computer)

The person doing this role has a front row seat! They should be comfortable working with computers (spreadsheets and numbers) – under time pressure. Ideally, they should attend training prior to the event, but this is not essential as they can train for this role by sitting next to a volunteer who has done the job before.  The electronic timing system (i.e. the timing pads at the end of each lane and the electronic results board) is operated from a laptop and records the times for each swimmer in each lane and race. Timing computer operators are responsible for setting up, conducting pre-race testing and running the timing electronics for the meet. A basic level of computer literacy is required for this role.  Results Recorders are also on the frontline! They work at the recording desk, recording and logging results onto a laptop. Their role is to ensure the accuracy of results and to bring questionable results to attention of referee. You also compare electronic results with timekeeper results and alert the referee when there is a discrepancy. 

You get to sit up in the gallery. You always get fed and if you are lucky Gina will remember to bring her fan to cool you down.

Posting results (could be two people)

Your role is important and valued by swimmers and parents, eager to confirm times and places. Results sheets will be available from the recording table once all the heats for each event have been swum and the winners have been determined.  Your role is to collect three copies of the results; one needs to be taken to the awards table, one needs to be posted poolside for swimmers and the other needs to be posted in the gallery for parents.

Medal Table (one or two people)

A positive, fun and rewarding job – after all, who doesn’t love a medal? In this role, you look after the medals table, handing out Gold, Silver & Bronze medals, according to event results sheets. The results sheets arrive at the medals table once all the heats of each event have been swum and once the winners have been determined.  All medals need to be signed for by the individual swimmer or coach. There are no spares, so it is necessary to be diligent with the correct awarding of the medals. All remaining medals (uncollected or spare) should be given back to the Meet Coordinator, along with the signed results sheets, at the end of the event.

Meet Runners/Extra Helpers (two is great)

Fancy being part of the action and/or to have a great view of your swimmer’s races? Meet runners/extra helpers are an important part of the team and will be needed (and valued)! Your role is to be available to cover any vacant roles or relieve volunteers if needed.

The meet manager in particularly always needs additional help – whether it is liasing with the Quays management to get the lights turned on, running to the café to check food orders or helping spectators/families.  With 500 people at these meets there is always extra jobs to do .

If you are a keen amateur photographer we need you. .  We take photos of our swimmers and volunteers at meets so that we can post them for the parents and keep our webiste and social media up to date.  A decent camera and access to a computer is really helpful.    Being smiley and approachable is essential for this but an eye for a great shot is important.  Meets are exciting places and capturing the joy of a win or the execution of a great dive provides a last memory for everyone involved.

At big meets we may hire a professional who has all the technology to set up selling photographs for the parents but for our own meets we love having one of our own do it so if you have the skills we would love to volunteer.