AS PART of this year’s Volunteers’ Week (which runs from June 1 to 7), Volunteer Now caught up with a local volunteer who is making a real difference within our community.
With the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay taking place throughout this week, Volunteer Now has themed the week as ‘Celebrating Local Heroes’ - those people who willingly give of their time to help others participate in sporting activities. One such volunteer is Malachy Scott from Newtownabbey who volunteers at Glengormley Boxing Club on the Antrim Road.
What does your volunteering involve?
I am volunteer Secretary of the club and one of the volunteer coaches. I coach 4 to 8-year-olds in non contact boxing and 8 years and up in regular boxing.
When did you first begin volunteering?
I have been volunteering for 25 years.
What inspired you to get involved?
I had boxed at the club as a young person and had achieved my goals in my boxing career. However, due to injury I had to stop competitive boxing. I saw it as a natural move to begin volunteer coaching at the club as I was inspired and trained by Gus O’Connor and Pat McCrory, former volunteer coaches at the club. It was my way of giving something back to the community and the club.
What attracted you to the role?
The fact that I was a boxer and had been trained by volunteer coaches which resulted in me having great discipline, good healthy living and a great level of fitness. I knew that if I could pass this onto the youth of today then my role as a volunteer coach would be fulfilled.
What skills or qualities are required for your volunteering role?
Patience, an understanding family, the willingness to go the extra mile and above all, to do what others have done before - lead by example - and you can’t go wrong.
Why do you volunteer?
Volunteering was instilled in me from a very young age and I witness the positive contribution volunteers make to society and local communities on a daily basis - and I basically wanted to be part of that.
How often do you volunteer?
15 hours per week.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
Seeing the young people develop and grow in their chosen activity. I get a kick from this or should I say, a punch! There is great satisfaction when you see young people go on and achieve their goals and perhaps win titles.
Why would you encourage others to get involved?
They will have the satisfaction of putting something back into their community - the cross community work that we do with the young people is great, no-one is labelled, they are all the same and you could be part of this. Together we can keep the young people of today on the straight and narrow.
What has been the highlight of your volunteering?
The new club opening in 2007 - it took £250,000.00 to make this club a reality and this was all done by volunteers.
What advice would you give someone starting to volunteer?
Know what the role is and what is expected of you, use your own life skills and experience to develop the role and the rest will fall into place. So pull a punch and try it out.
Do you think the London 2012 Olympics will inspire people to get involved in sport and will it leave a legacy?
Yes most definitely, in terms of the young people involved with our club they have a great experience ahead of them. Glengormley Boxing Club has been chosen as one of four pre games training centres and we hope to have the Cuban boxers here for some training sessions during the build up to the Olympics. Also, the fact that we have two people from Belfast participating in the 2012 Olympics boxing category will encourage the young people to train harder and attempt to achieve what their peers are achieving - this will leave the legacy of the Olympics to continue forever.