Shelley Jones from Newtown Ladies Hockey Club volunteers as the North Wales Competition Secretary and Division 1 North Wales Ladies League Divisional Coordinator. Shelley along with others in the competitions groups across the country are the driving force behind league hockey in Wales.
As part of national Volunteers Week she shares with us her thoughts on volunteering in sport, her experience as a hockey volunteer and what makes it all worthwhile…
Volunteers are the foundations in any sport for any age and ability.
They can be the ones at the forefront that everyone sees like the coaches or ones that are behind the scenes doing the things people very often don't see – they are the 'glue' of that sport, club or team.
Becoming a volunteer was a natural progression for me. I play at a club and became involved in the day to day running of my club for a number of years (and still am). Then for the North Wales League, as it was a few years ago, names of clubs were pulled out of the hat to see who ran the league.
It just so happened that my club was pulled out one season so I knew then I would get involved in some form, but in all honesty I didn’t expect to be involved as much as I am now- this will be my fourth coming season with the North Wales Competitions group!
My role as league secretary and divisional co-ordinator can be very varied from one week to the next. It’s not uncommon to be having late night phone calls and messages the night before the weekend of matches.
Basically I keep the league ticking over and try and make sure that the season finishes when it should with all the games played and without too many issues. We have had a few issues along the way, but I think as a whole North Wales Women’s league hockey is going in the right direction in that respect.
At the end of April when league hockey is done and dusted for a few weeks I get a chance to reflect. Even with the issues we may have had, we got there and had nearly 20 clubs in North Wales played weekly league hockey throughout the season; that equates to nearly 180 games of hockey in total!
Being part of the group that makes that happen is a really good feeling. It’s not an easy role and it certainly has its challenges, but come the end of the season it has been worth it for that alone.
My advice to others would be to try to make every negative situation into a positive one and stay true to what you believe. People are passionate about their clubs and teams, so it helps keeping that in mind.
A new Club Life resource in now available. Aimed at new club secretaries ‘The Hockey Secretary’ provides information about the role and top tips for the responsibilities that go with the role. Click here to read it, or to view all the Club Life resources visit: www.hockeywales.org.uk/play/club-life
Recruiting: National School Boys Co-ordinator
For anyone interested in as similar volunteer position, Hockey Wales are currently advertising for a National School Boys Competition Organiser. Click here for more information and if you would like to be considered for the role, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your expression of interest and a covering letter outling why you would be suitable for the role.