We continue to celebrate National Volunteering Week, where IWA-Sport spoke with Anne Lynch who volunteers with Rebel Wheelers Multi-Sport Club as the Saturday Morning Club Co-Ordinator.

My role:

I’m the Saturday Morning Club (SMC) Co-Ordinator with Rebel Wheelers Multi-Sport Club in Cork.

What I do as the Saturday Morning Club Co-Ordinator:

Saturday Morning Club is for our junior members from 5-15, where we give them the chance to try various para-sports each Saturday. I organise monthly meetings, where I liaise with our sub-committee members in deciding on the monthly and weekly schedule of activities and discuss any issues or concerns, which may arise.

I then inform members of the events and activities we plan via the Saturday Morning Club WhatsApp group.

I also attend the Rebel Wheelers committee monthly meetings where I give feedback on the Saturday Morning Club.

I’m responsible for booking our venue, ‘Cope Hall’ in Montenotte, Cork where our sessions are held.

I oversee events such as Halloween party, ice skating, Christmas, Easter and summer parties as well.

I open up the hall for the SMC sessions and remain on site for the duration of each session. If I can’t be present I would ask that another committee member be present.

Why I decided to volunteer as the Saturday Morning Club Co-Ordinator:

When the position became vacant I was asked by parents to go on the committee to take on the role.

The best part about volunteering for me:

I like the feeling of giving something back to an organisation that has proven so many benefits to my son and by extension to his family. I absolutely love working with the children.

Why it’s important to volunteer and give back:

Our son Seán has been a member of Rebel Wheelers Multi-Sport Club’s Saturday Morning Club for the past five years and in that time has developed strong friendships with fellow members and their siblings. The club has provided a very safe, secure and welcoming environment both for Seán, his siblings and us, as parents.

I recognise that a club is only as strong as the commitment and willingness of parents to volunteer. Through the hard work of previous parents our son Seán has gained so much in terms of confidence, self-esteem, sporting ability and overall physical health. It is an absolute privilege to be able to give something back to Rebel Wheelers Multi-Sport Club and hopefully encourage younger children and families to become involved in the same way.

Some challenges I face as a volunteer and how I overcome them:

We are very lucky in the Saturday Morning Club to have a committee of enthusiastic parents who are willing to help out in all aspects of the club. However, collectively we are finding the demands of balancing work life, family commitments and the requirements of the club challenging. It is proving difficult post-covid to get parents to commit in a structured/consistent way to help out at the Saturday Morning Club sessions.

We have invited parents to attend IWA training sessions in order that they can help out with games.

We ask parents to become more involved in the sessions, i.e. doing the attendance roll-call, setting up the tea and coffee, collecting the weekly subs.

What I say to encourage others to volunteer:

In order for everyone to benefit from the club and for the club to continue to flourish going forward, there has to be a willingness from members to offer their time. I have found that the rewards far outweigh the challenges

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