Name: Liz Lane
Club: Stratford Cycling Club
Role: Club Volunteer (Go-Ride Contact)
Why did you first get involved in volunteering?
I became involved in volunteering when the junior section of the club had very few members and my son was very keen to be more involved in racing. As I was at the track most training evenings it was a natural development that became more involved myself.
What does your volunteer role consist of?
Initially I was responsible for taking the register and supporting the one coach we had running the sessions, but over recent years my role has grown significantly and I have now become junior co-ordinator. This involves organising the club’s team of volunteers and ensuring they are working on things that they not only enjoy but also have specific skills in so it benefits both the volunteers and the club. As the club has grown significantly over the past couple of years one of the most important aspects of my role now is recruiting and engaging new volunteers and ensuring that they feel part of the club and that their contributions are valued.
I am also responsible for communicating with both the riders and their parents so they are aware of what is going on within the club, this includes upcoming event details and reporting back to the rest of the club on these events.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering now?
I get great satisfaction from seeing the junior part of the Stratford CC grow and word has spread that we offer excellent coaching and that we are a good club to ride with and be a member of. I love to see the novice rider’s progress, become more confident and want to participate in races, when a few months earlier they had very few bike skills. I also love to see the young people that sometimes come to the club to get away from pressures or difficulties at school and hear the feedback from the parents that their child has gained confidence and a feeling of self-worth.
I feel it’s not all about the rider’s skills but the development of character, social skills and all round confidence that gives me so much pleasure
What advice would you give to other people who were thinking about volunteering?
I can honestly say that I am not the sort of person to put my hand up and volunteer for anything but the role just came to me and attending the Go Ride Conferences gave me the confidence to be more involved. I get a great feeling being part of the team that has developed over the past 6 years. I feel that taking on the volunteering role has helped me grow as a person in the same way that the young people have done with their riding. I would suggest that someone gets involved in a small way to begin with and they can then become more involved if they feel they are able to.
I would say that in order to do take on the role that I have you need to make sure that you do manage to delegate to those around that have specific skills, whether it be in cycling or admin. Also make sure that nobody becomes overloaded with too much to do or to take on too much yourself. It is a volunteer role so take on what is in your comfort zone in your skills and time you have available.