National Volunteers Week - Day 4

Today is day 4 of National Volunteers week. Each day this week we would like to showcase and say thanks to  a different volunteer in the Region for their commitment and contribution to volunteering. 

Today we are hearing from our Long Serving Regional Volunteer, Robert Margetts. 

A Swimming Life

My introduction to volunteering in swimming unusually came through my parent's involvement in the sport, both had been pre-war Regional Swimming Champions and continued as volunteers in their adult years. My Mother was Devon County Competition Secreatary and evenually become ASA President in 1984. So my earliest memories are of being in a swimming environment.

As a swimmer I competed at ESSA National Championships and played water polo for Devon County and I then went to College to become a P.E. teacher and so became the fitness instructor at week long training camps ran by my Mother for the District. When I returned to Torquay in 1969 I became involved with Torquay Leander Swimming Club both on the poolside and on the committee, this inevitable lead to me taking on roles with Devon County as Swimming and then then General Secretary, until 1982. I then I became the Competition Secretary of the District/Region which at the time involved processing the entries for swimming, diving, synchro and water polo which were slowly taken on by the various disciplines until the post of Competition Secretary was abolished in 2005. I continued as Swimming Competition Secretary until November 2018 when the role was absorbed in to the Regional Office. From 1982 I was responsible for the competition side of all swimming events held in the Region this involved setting the programme, sorting the entries and running the competition on the day. I was also involved in National Short Course, Olympic Youth Days and ESSA National Championships when held in the Region.

As Competition Secretary was on Officer of WCASA I sat on all discipline committees and the Managment Committee, represented the District at many ASA AGMs and was a member of the ASA Committee in its various forms from 2002 until 2016. During my career I had the pleasure of being County, Region and ASA President President.

Other opportunities that have come my way include Team Managing for England at 7 events in 3 Counties, water polo refereeing in Devon for several years and sitting on ESSA National Council for 5 years.

I have not completely retired from the swimming world as I am still Chairman of ESSA South West Division and Swim Torquay which built a 4 lane 25m pool in the 70's and is still in use by clubs, schools and the general public.

Volunteering has given me many happy hours in the company of good friends, but mainly I have enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing that my team have put on a good show and that all involved have been able to produce their best swims under the best circumstances, for this I must thank my family for their support and encouragement during all my years of service.

Posted by Swim England South West on June 4th 2021

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