In Praise of Parents and Volunteers


NO Not that!

Please!

Not that!

Heaven Forbid.

The very idea that I should talk about administration!

The single most difficult thing in running a club of any kind has got to be the administration. And I don’t just mean the paperwork.

The paperwork is just boring; it’s not in itself the most difficult thing about administration. Ok I admit it, paperwork can be difficult, as it does seem that sometimes the creators of the paperwork are more about creating work for themselves than making things workable and simple. But in the end paperwork can be worked through and resolved in most cases if you have the time.

And that is the point I am getting to. Time. I don’t care how good you are at running a club; any club that is a one man bad will eventually die. You have to get other people involved in the running of a club because if you don’t you run out of time to get every thing done efficiently.

I’m talking about getting others involved in the everyday stuff. Like organising that trip to the local competition, making sure the right equipment is made available. Having enough people around to lay the mats and making sure everybody knows where to go.

A club runs on its volunteers. I had one member of one of my clubs, his name is Patrick and oh how I miss him. He was always there. I tried to get him involved in teaching because he was a black belt, but he insisted that that was not what he wanted to do though he did do it for me a few times.

This guy laid mats for me and made sure moneys were received. He did photocopying and made sure everybody got a copy. When he left there was a big hole where he had been and the club has done nothing but struggle since.

I’m a great teacher and I see myself as a fair administrator but I cannot be good at both.

People like this are diamonds. You can’t have enough volunteers. If someone asks for a job make sure you give him or her a valued one. Let them know that they are a valuable resource.

I have tried every which way to get volunteers involved in my clubs and the single most effective way is to ask people directly to do a particular job. The ones I have asked have done a great job. Some at fixing cleats some at packing up mats. But I’m convinced that getting people to volunteer is a gift.

I don’t think I have that gift and I would pay big money, if I had any, to find someone who has.

In brief value your volunteers and find ways to encourage them because you need them.

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