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  Volunteers Needed - Can You Help ?  

Volunteers Wanted For Thriving Club
Tonbridge Athletic Club, like most amateur sports clubs in the area, is dependent on the dedication and skills of many voluntary coaches, helpers and officials to keep the club in existence and hopefully moving forward. The Club currently have a dedicated and enthusiastic group of coaches and supporters, but as the numbers attending the club increases and the standards improve, more parents, ex-athletes or sports enthusiasts are needed to join the team. The Club caters for athletes from as young as nine years old to adults and for the full range of athletic events, so there is a diverse range of help required.

Tonbridge AC is an ambitious club and in the last few years has experienced considerable success, particularly in the younger age groups, which is now starting to feed through to senior level. Teams and individuals are competitive at National level where they have won National championships, with athletes representing England Schools' teams or gaining other international representation. The Club is now looking to build on that success.

Membership numbers are currently at an all time high, with just short of five hundred in total at the current count. The growth is creating both new opportunities and also some difficulties, so more volunteers are needed to provide the structure, that will enable the club to continue to develop. Mark Hookway, who sits on both the club's management and coaching committee explains:

"Not so long ago the club was a lot smaller in numbers, but with the achievements in recent years and the publicity it has generated, more and more youngsters have shown an interest in what we do. In many ways we are bucking the trend, which says that teenagers are losing interest in sport.

We recognise that unless we try to get more volunteers, we won't be able to either sustain the growth or fully support those that have the ability and desire to go on to greater things. We particularly need more coaches, so that we can offer athletes the attention needed to fulfil their potential. For example, we have some good young athletes in the throws and jumps events, but not enough adults able to give the coaching commitment to them. Full coaching training and qualifications are available and we'd only need a handful of people to achieve a huge amount. Personality and a desire to make a difference count much more than any previous experience or technical ability.

It's not just about coaching though, as there is always a need for other help to provide an infrastructure for any successful club. Currently, we are planning courses for a number of parents to qualify as officials, whilst we also need help with our introductory group for nine to eleven year olds. Then there are roles like the development and updating of our web site with news and information, the control of all the club kit, fund raising and the like.

We believe that we have a good momentum at the club, but if there were just a few more people out there, who could add their expertise or enthusiasm to our team, it could set us up for a very bright future.

I'd appeal to anyone who could help us or any sports club in the area, to consider if they are the type of person who could help with any of the roles described and, if so, put themselves forward."

If you want more information or want to discuss any of the issues raised you can email Mark by clicking or you can phone 01732 838211.