In the second part of the two-part blog, I am going to talk about what a volunteering day looks like for me at England Hockey events.
There is a schedule that needs to be followed in order for the competition to go ahead successfully. The delivery and preparation will be different each time, i.e. the type of competition, whether it be domestic or international, the weather conditions and live streaming all play a huge part in preparation and delivery.
Working in the Field of Play area, which I do, comes with the responsibility to make sure that the event runs efficiently and that it finishes according to the published schedule. Many things need to happen during the day which my Team and I arrange, manage and maintain.
One of the first and most important parts of the day is to make sure that the actual playing surface and surroundings are all fit for purpose. Everything has to be in place for the team managers and athletes to compete so that they do not have to worry about anything other than their own performance. My Team supports the officials whilst they go about their duties to officiate the match. I have to liaise with broadcast and media to support the delivery of the match to the watching public. As can be seen there are a lot of factors involved to make a volunteering day successful. Hence FOP volunteers are normally the first of the volunteers to arrive at the venue and the last to leave during a competition.
Although it can be hard work at times and long hours, I get so much back from it.
I have met so many people who are now lifelong friends. Fellow volunteers and colleagues are now more like family than just friends. There is a phrase often used, in that once you start to volunteer in hockey you become part of the ‘HOCKEY FAMILY’- this is so true, whether you are a volunteer, member of staff, player, umpire or an official. Each time that I get the chance to volunteer with my Hockey Family it takes me to a happy place away from the rigours of day-to-day life.
Moreover, I am fortunate to have a very understanding wife who has allowed me to volunteer for over 20 years.
I would like to encourage everyone to be a ‘Hockey Maker’. Don’t hesitate to put your name forward, it doesn’t matter how much time you can spare. Any time you can give will help an organisation deliver that event. Once you have experienced volunteering, especially at hockey events, you will never look back. You will meet like-minded people who will inspire you to want to do more. You will learn new skills, become more confident and realise that you have far more to offer than you realise. You will become part of an extended family and meet new people who will become friends for life.
As a hockey enthusiast, being a Hockey Maker is truly rewarding.
Here’s how you can be part of the Hockey Family – https://www.englandhockey.co.uk/faqs/faqs-hockey-makers/faqs-getting-involved/how-do-i-become-a-hockey-maker