The entire sport of Canoe Polo is delivered by volunteers who give their time freely so that others may enjoy our great game. Unfortunately the ‘pool’ of these volunteers is not very large. That places great demands on them, as each of them also has the every day pressure we all do like work, family etc. Because of the limited number of helpers the roles the volunteers undertake often expand and become overwhelming. So from a willing and eager helper we can create exhausted and sometimes disillusioned ex-helper. This is a poor legacy, as they all genuinely wanted to play their part in developing our sport.

We urgently need to get into a more sustainable position, particularly as we host the World Championships in 2016. It is essential that we increase the stock of volunteers so that we ensure each role is manageable. We also need to create a structure so that specialists have continuity to nurture the next incumbent so that we do not get a ‘stalling’ effect as people change. We are very fortunate that we have some brilliant people who have given hundreds of hours of their time so that you can enjoy polo. Huge thanks to them and those that went before them for all their efforts.

However we now need to support all the helpers better and that can only come from within i.e. the players and their relatives. Please do not think the BCU or Canoe England can fill this void that will not happen, we already get a disproportionately better deal than all the other non-olympic disciplines.

It is essential that the Committee is reflective of the sport and needs a cross section of clubs, regions and standards. However many of the roles are not on the National Committee and it is not about attending meetings.

Recently we have sub-contracted pieces of works to volunteers who have delivered some great benefits to the sport. So if you have a specialism or interest and you think you can help then speak-up. It is crucial that everybody involved in our sport thinks how they can assist. It is easy to moan about things not being as good as they might be – it takes a braver person to step and offer to help. Please understand we cannot continue as we have.

The ACM is on 20 July 2013 at the National Championships that is an ideal time for those who want to give something back to make their offer. However if your not going to the ACM that does not prevent you volunteering. If you want to speak about helping then call either Curly Barker ……… or Dave Rawding Mobile 07817 611248.

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