Swimming celebrates International Volunteers Day with call for Local Legends

Swimming Australia’s Local Legend program is back for the 2014 swimming season with the three finalists for November announced yesterday.

The Local Legends initiative, which runs from November to April every year, is Swimming Australia’s volunteer recognition program that aims to recognise and reward members of clubs from all over Australia who regularly give up their time for the benefit of the club.

Members can nominate a volunteer from their club with the top three nominations featuring in a Facebook competition to decide the Volunteer of the Month.

The November Local legend will be decided by an online vote between Keith Fleming from Armidale ASC in New South Wales, Joe Nawiesnak from Pambula Community Swim Club also in NSW and Sandy Veeren from Lakes Swim Club in Queensland.

With today marking International Volunteers Day it is a timely reminder that many sporting events and institutions rely heavily on volunteers.

Every year at the Australian Swimming Championships approximately 50 Technical Officials give up their time to take on some of the most important roles at the event including time keeping, starting, judging strokes and compiling results.

On top of this at the 2013 Georgina Hope Swimmers Foundation Australian Age Championships and the Australian Swimming Championships combined, there were over 60 volunteers helping with tasks such as accreditation, ticket selling, basket handling and results.

Swimming Australia CEO Mark Anderson said the passion and commitment of volunteers to the sport of swimming is vital to our future success in and out of the water.

“For swimming in Australia to be successful, we need to ensure that we are building and investing in a strong community base for our sport, and community starts at the volunteer level,” said Anderson.

With 8,500 registered coaches and 21,500 Technical Officials involved in swimming on a regular basis – many of whom are volunteers, the Local Legends program is the perfect opportunity for our clubs and members to reward those often ‘unsung heroes’ at the grass roots of our sport.

Dianna Remington from the Lakes Swimming Club in Queensland said volunteers are the foundation of any successful swimming club.

“There are so many important roles of a volunteer: timekeeping; marshalling; taking the swimmers up to the starter; signing people in; helping with registering races; being the starter for the night; recording swimmers times; selling raffle tickets and so much more. The Kids also love to see their parents involved at the club, it reinforces their love for the sport” Ms Remington said.

The recipient of the Local Legend of the Month title will win a $100 Gift Card and a Speedo prize pack for their club valued at $1200 with all three finalists taking home a swim cap signed by a member of the Australian Swim Team.

At the end of the season a Volunteer of the Year will be decided with the winner being flown from their home state to attend the Swimmer of the Year Awards and their club will also receive $2000 and a training session with a member of the Australian Swim Team.

To nominate a Local Legend from your club, click here: http://www.swimming.org.au/local-legends.html

This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of Swimming Australia.

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About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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