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Volunteers

Volunteers are not paid because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!

You don’t have to shoot to be an active member of the club or the sport of archery.  Deer Park Archers could not operate in the way it does without the time and dedication of the many volunteer members of the club.

We have a strategy that results in the club having ample volunteers, to support our own club needs and additional County, Regional and National Activities.

Deer Park Archers have been recognised for the involvement and support of our volunteers for many years including Archery GB, Sport England and the Sport & Recreation Alliance! In 2013, we got Archery GB to recognise the need for our Club Officials to have access to the Archery GB membership portal, small but important steps to helping the club to function and our sport to grow. There is absolutely no doubt that without our volunteers, we would not be able to operate in the way we do. Many of our Management team are non-shooting volunteers and a huge number of volunteer parents, friends, etc help on a regular basis.

Our Clubmark work has taught us the importance of clear job descriptions and ensuring there is appropriate training and support (Mentors) is critical to success.  Almost half of our 200 + members are juniors, so we need to ensure they are engage and motivated to achieve their potential; Whether that be shooting competitively or getting involved from an organisation standpoint we try to provide opportunities to develop.

Virtually all our members are family units of 2 or more and we actively involve any family members who do not shoot. By involving parents from day 1 of beginners courses, training them to be Parent Coaching Assistants, initially for their children, this has produced a stream of parents developing the confidence to be come fully trained coaches. We recognise individual circumstances change with time. Those that are happy to give a longer term commitment become committee members. Those that are willing to help on occasions are key to organising the bigger events and short term initiatives. Where members have skills they thing would be beneficial to club development, we encourage them to get involved and utilise those skills

Our volunteering approach is so successful that we have members helping at County and National levels and members have been recognised at all 3 levels including National Archery GB Clubman of the Year, Sports Coach UK Young Coach of the Year etc.  Some of our volunteer programmes have been published at National Level including our Coaching Assistant Roles and members have been featured in publications such as Coaching Edge!  The role of volunteers is so important that we now look at succession plans to ensure we are not left short.

We do all the usual things, award an Annual Clubman of the Year Trophy, ensure we recognise and encourage family unit contributions, record our thanks in the newsletter, and most importantly the whole club shares successes on and off the field. In 2014 we also introduced our Young Volunteer of the Year Award.  We are not ashamed to admit that we are always looking to nominate members for external awards recognising contribution. Our volunteers are special and if appropriate they should be recognised, we have strong links with the schools and when juniors do something special we let the schools know.

If this sounds link something you would be interested to get involved with, talk to a member of the committee to explore the opportunities currently available.

You don’t have to shoot to be an active member of the club or the sport of archery.  Deer Park Archers could not operate in the way it does without the time and dedication of the many volunteer members of the club.

In addition to volunteering with general club activities, you may wish to consider the following roles which have been explained by current volunteers.

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Field Captain

Help to ensure the safety of those shooting during club practice. Training provided, mentor allocated, lots of social interaction and some responsibility!

“As field captain, you are in control of the range. With a series of whistles, you let the archers know when it is time to shoot and when it’s safe to collect arrows. You make sure everyone present is being safe, help organise looking for lost arrows and get the archers back when the next end is due. You help everyone to have a good experience by keeping the session running in a timely and efficient manner.”

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Judging

Without people in these roles Archery would struggle to present itself as legitimate and regulated sport. The club will support members training to become Judges and certainly offer lots of tournament opportunities to achieve the require hours. Karen M tells us about Judging.

“Judging is all about ensuring people stay safe whilst shooting, that they abide by the rules (there are quite a few of them 😀😀), help them with correcting scores. The list of our tasks is quite long, but most importantly we are there to help the archers.

I started judging because I couldn’t shoot very well but wanted to stay involved with the sport, mind you my shooting has improved since then,  you get to meet some great people & make new friends, so I do both judge at some competitions and shoot at others, being judged by fellow judges who know me is a good laugh.”

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The Men-in-Sheds Group

Opportunity to the men over 50 to be part of a team supporting the club aims. Members do not have to shoot or be part of the club, they may just chose to share a good conversation over a cup of tea or use  new or existing skills to carry out some of the many tasks needed to run a large club. Wide range of opportunities, physical or not, just great to be part of a social group with a purpose! Roger T tells us about this group and their activities.

“I am currently an Associate Member of Deer Park but have been involved with the Men-in-sheds team for some time, enjoying both the social side and the satisfaction of giving something back to our sport!

There is a wide range of activities we undertake from brick laying to outdoor furniture making, from boss repairs to building a tournament control centre.”

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Ground Support Work Team

There is away something to do at the club ground from mowing the grass, marking the distance lines to clearing the field course route.  The more help on this project the better. Vanessa C tells us about the work teams.

“We are a group of people who volunteer to work at the archery ground completing tasks from a list that is published each month. There is always a range of tasks to suit all abilities including people with disabilities. There are tasks such as ongoing ground and target maintenance and new projects for example construction of the tournament control building. This is an opportunity to work outside in the fresh air to improve the environment by planting trees, maintaining streams and creating new habitats for wildlife by digging ponds and constructing bug hotels.

This is an opportunity for people to form new friendships, encourage teamwork and have fun. It allows us to work towards a common goal in creating a club that we can be proud of.

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Field Crew

Be part of a team that supports the operation of  Tournaments (both record and non-record status). This can range from setting the range up (normally the day before), to the operation of the range on the day. Training will be provided and for full day tournaments you even get a free cooked meal and refreshments throughout the day! Kev M tells us about being in the Field Crew.

Whenever the club puts on any competitions they will need a Field Crew to help set up the range, change targets when requested by the judges and to help look for lost arrows. The main job is to help where you can and ensure the competition runs as smoothly as possible.

The club need Field Crew for all competitions, it is always great fun to enter a comp but it is just as good to give something back by helping out whilst getting free lunch from Mary😀

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Catering Team

Be part of the catering team looking after the provision of refreshments at a range of events, often for the paying archers (so you are generating an income) but also for the officials and field crew. Mary C explains her contribution.

“I’m part of a team that provides archers, spectators, judges and field crew with hot and cold refreshments on club target days and at competition.

There is a great team spirit. It is hard work but we always have a good laugh on the day.”

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Management Committee Member

A range of roles, all with job descriptions and once again very much part of a team. As well as being responsible for a specific role you will have the opportunity to contribute to the direction the club takes in its development and share the responsibility to ensure the club remains sustainable! Steve M explains what he does.

“As a member of the Competitions Sub-Committee, I help to run all competitions at the club, from small member only target days to large world record status events. I am also chief line marker, so can be seen most weekends on the range, walking up and down our 1.3 miles of white lining!”

“Without the hard work of volunteers, amateur sports clubs would not exist so to be part of the success of one of the best archery clubs in the country is a great feeling.“

Junior Committee Member (Max age 18)

To be a link with junior members to determine current issues, ideas for social events etc and to organise some of those events.

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Equipment Technician

This is an expanding role and with regard to the size of the club, its activities and the demands of the archers, one that requires a lot of training and an increasing size of team. There are at least 3 areas of specialism. Bob W tells us what he does and why he gets involved.

My first responsibility is the maintenance of the club equipment, i.e. the bow and arrow stock. I’m also available to advise members on the maintenance of their own equipment, should they request it.

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Social & Fundraising Team

A key role to ensure retention and club identity to all our members is the organisation and delivery of social events and fundraising to allow us to keep membership fees to a minimum and develop our facilities. Lynn B tells us why she gets involved.

“I sell quizzes to raise funds, along with selling donated items on ebay and also order and sell club merchandise which is separate from the club kit.

I volunteer because I like the way our club is run, very professionally, whilst maintaining a family atmosphere. ( It also keeps me out of trouble!)”

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Coaching Team

We have an amazing team, however increasing membership demands mean we need to continue to grow our voluntary workforce in both quality and quantity. We offer significant funding to support training and amazing mentors and opportunities to train as a coach. Steph G tells us why she gets involved.

“I work with archers of all levels from recreation through to international level to help them reach their full potential as archers, but also develop the whole individual.

A good coach can change a game whereas a great coach can change a life.”

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Click here to see examples of role descriptions.