This article from swimming world magazine offers four reasons to thank our volunteer swim coaches.
The article was was written about volunteer coaches in the USA but UK swimmers will also be able to identify with the points raised. It's nice to see that all over the world there are volunteers on poolside passing on their experience to other swimmers through a passion for the sport.
My elder sister began volunteering after a few years of swimming with our local club (Bridgwater Swimming Club). She started as a teen volunteer and went on to become a certified swimming coach, teaching kids of all ages and abilities. From first time swimmers up through to the competitive squad. She must have helped hundreds of kids and teens in their development over the years, and all of it completely unpaid!
You'll find similar stories at swimming clubs across the country. Coaches and assistants working all of their spare hours through a devotion to the sport and a passion for teaching! It doesn't end there, a huge network of volunteers from poolside coaches and assistants to bookkeepers and secretaries are the people who keep the swimming world running. Ensuring that children learn the important skill of swimming, helping them develop, plus teaching important life skills whose lessons are deep rooted and can be advantageous in adulthood.
There is more to be learned at a swimming club than simply "how not to drown". You learn about motivation, physical fitness, ambition, hard work, camaraderie, even failure and consolation, plus the rewards to be found from training and achieving your personal goals. It's the desire to share these experiences with others that drives many volunteer coaches to commit so much of their free time to the endeavor.
So take the time to thank your volunteer coaches, assistant coaches, and heck, all the volunteer staff at your swimming club if you get the opportunity, they're just the best!