A teenager from Beacon Swimming Club in Crowborough has been honoured for his dedication mentoring younger swimmers.
Henry Russell-Ross, aged 15, was awarded South East Region Youth Volunteer of the Year for the many hours spent poolside helping junior squads at the Club.
Henry has been a member of the Beacon Swimming Club since 2013, joining just before his ninth birthday.
In March Henry qualified as a Level 1 Judge, making him the youngest not only in Sussex but in the South East Region.
Older swimmers look out for and encourage younger swimmers as they come up through the age groups at the Club. Henry benefitted from this strong mentoring ethos and now helps out on poolside once a week alongside his coaches.
Diane Chrismas, Officials & Volunteers Coordinator at the Club, praised his commitment:
Henry’s enthusiasm and willingness to help out, with junior squads, as a timekeeper and now as the youngest volunteer to qualify as a Judge 1, has been a great asset to Beacon Swimming Club and Sussex County Amateur Swimming Association.
We’re very fortunate to have quite a few older swimmers who have done this in past years & others following in Henry’s wake. The whole Club is very proud that his efforts have been noticed & rewarded.
Unfortunately in February Henry broke his arm playing rugby at school, which meant he was unable to compete at the second weekend of the Sussex County Championships. He thereby missed his opportunity to qualify for this year’s South East Championships. Instead Henry pursued his training and continued gaining practical experience in order to become a Timekeeper, Chief Timekeeper and Inspector of Turns.
Henry now goes forward, as one of eight regional nominees, for the National Youth Volunteer of the Year award to be announced in Birmingham at the end of November.