Canadian Triathlon Forum Ontario » Volunteering Rss Feed  
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2013-07-08 7:21 PM


21

Subject: Volunteering
With the Huronia Tri in my (cottage) backyard this weekend I had the rare opportunity to attend a triathlon day when I wasn't competing (not that I've been around the sport for long). While my daughter (6) was competing in the KOS and I was going for my first Sprint on Sunday I was a short bike ride over on Saturday to help out with the Olympic. I cannot emphasize enough how mutually beneficial the experience was - while of course MSC (the organizers) benefited from an extra set of hands - it benefited me immensely!

Sadly they seemed to be really short on volunteers, which is shocking given how many people competed over the two days. Here are a few reasons

I thought of why we should all step up and make it a point to volunteer at one event a year minimum.

1. Learning from the top athletes and the beginners –
Seeing the pros, Elite and Age Group leaders speed through transition, mounts and flying dismounts was humbling, equally was seeing those that were out there for fun going for it and struggling on the mount with wet cleats like I did the next day (should have learned and tried some mounts with wet cleats (it's always been so easy leaving my driveway for rides without any pressure!).

2. - Appreciating what we are all doing –
For those natural athletes who blow through the course this isn't for you, for the rest of us it is an opportunity to see the simultaneous struggle/satisfaction that only comes from fighting through a series of events none of our friends would ever consider - handing out water or working the dismount line - whatever the role it is a rare opportunity that we often miss while competing alongside these other great people proving everyone wrong!

3. – Community –
While I can't speak for the other series, I'm sure it is similar in many ways, there is an incredible sense of community around the Recharge With Milk MultiSport Canada series from John on down through his organization (as evident on this site). It carries through the volunteer staff and a ton of the series regulars. Jumping into that volunteer role I was immediately and warmly welcomed in and while I don't lack for acceptance in life (despite the length of this and other posts on this board) it is still an amazing group to be a part of regardless of whether you are a Competitor, official, organizer, volunteer or fan.

4. - the perks –
Again, can't speak for the other series and I urge you to volunteer at either (in Ontario and any outside of Ontario) - but the MSC series gives out bright yellow Race Crew tech shirts for volunteering (plus free HERO Burgers), can't beat that for a day in the sun watching flying dismounts and the occasional rough dismount. The shirt was so nice my 14 year old nephew who was up at the cottage with us asked if he could volunteer on Sunday while my daughter and I competed in our events (he did and he got a shirt). Maybe a tech shirt or a burger isn’t for everyone so skip this one but trust me, I’ve got a ton of run shirts and this volunteer shirt is now my favorite tech shirt.

5. - Setting a Great Example –
This one is specific for those of us with youngish kids but I got to love that when my family showed up to check it out my 6 year old (who if you remember from 45 minutes earlier in this post was competing on Sunday in the Kids of Steel event) asked – “Should I be saying thank you to all the people helping me out tomorrow like you are getting thanked by everyone today”... good/observant kid

So my point is, check out the whole race weekend schedule and see if there is a race after or the day before/after - see if you can help out, even 1 or 2 hours I'm guessing will go a LONG way to help out the organizers, there is always something to do and someone who could use a break.


2013-07-09 7:07 AM
in reply to: ngrunberg

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Subject: RE: Volunteering
Originally posted by ngrunberg

With the Huronia Tri in my (cottage) backyard this weekend I had the rare opportunity to attend a triathlon day when I wasn't competing (not that I've been around the sport for long). While my daughter (6) was competing in the KOS and I was going for my first Sprint on Sunday I was a short bike ride over on Saturday to help out with the Olympic. I cannot emphasize enough how mutually beneficial the experience was - while of course MSC (the organizers) benefited from an extra set of hands - it benefited me immensely!

Sadly they seemed to be really short on volunteers, which is shocking given how many people competed over the two days. Here are a few reasons

I thought of why we should all step up and make it a point to volunteer at one event a year minimum.

1. Learning from the top athletes and the beginners –
Seeing the pros, Elite and Age Group leaders speed through transition, mounts and flying dismounts was humbling, equally was seeing those that were out there for fun going for it and struggling on the mount with wet cleats like I did the next day (should have learned and tried some mounts with wet cleats (it's always been so easy leaving my driveway for rides without any pressure!).

2. - Appreciating what we are all doing –
For those natural athletes who blow through the course this isn't for you, for the rest of us it is an opportunity to see the simultaneous struggle/satisfaction that only comes from fighting through a series of events none of our friends would ever consider - handing out water or working the dismount line - whatever the role it is a rare opportunity that we often miss while competing alongside these other great people proving everyone wrong!

3. – Community –
While I can't speak for the other series, I'm sure it is similar in many ways, there is an incredible sense of community around the Recharge With Milk MultiSport Canada series from John on down through his organization (as evident on this site). It carries through the volunteer staff and a ton of the series regulars. Jumping into that volunteer role I was immediately and warmly welcomed in and while I don't lack for acceptance in life (despite the length of this and other posts on this board) it is still an amazing group to be a part of regardless of whether you are a Competitor, official, organizer, volunteer or fan.

4. - the perks –
Again, can't speak for the other series and I urge you to volunteer at either (in Ontario and any outside of Ontario) - but the MSC series gives out bright yellow Race Crew tech shirts for volunteering (plus free HERO Burgers), can't beat that for a day in the sun watching flying dismounts and the occasional rough dismount. The shirt was so nice my 14 year old nephew who was up at the cottage with us asked if he could volunteer on Sunday while my daughter and I competed in our events (he did and he got a shirt). Maybe a tech shirt or a burger isn’t for everyone so skip this one but trust me, I’ve got a ton of run shirts and this volunteer shirt is now my favorite tech shirt.

5. - Setting a Great Example –
This one is specific for those of us with youngish kids but I got to love that when my family showed up to check it out my 6 year old (who if you remember from 45 minutes earlier in this post was competing on Sunday in the Kids of Steel event) asked – “Should I be saying thank you to all the people helping me out tomorrow like you are getting thanked by everyone today”... good/observant kid

So my point is, check out the whole race weekend schedule and see if there is a race after or the day before/after - see if you can help out, even 1 or 2 hours I'm guessing will go a LONG way to help out the organizers, there is always something to do and someone who could use a break.


Really nice post! I raced on Sunday (first time for Huronia) and I sensed there weren't as many volunteers as usual, but didn't feel they were lacking at any point. Always someone there to point me in the right direction and very helpful and encouraging/sympathetic with the mount/dismount struggles. It wasn't that easy getting into shoes with that sharp right turn and hill climb starting right away. Need more practice on that one, for sure.

Have wanted to volunteer for sometime now. Not sure when it will happen, but it will.
2013-07-18 11:42 AM
in reply to: latestarter

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Subject: RE: Volunteering
Great post! You got me thinking, so I went ahead and signed up to volunteer at MSC Lakeside! I haven't heard back from anyone yet, so I don't know if its just too far away for them to be thinking about staffing that particular race just yet, but I'm excited to extend my 'season' out a couple more weeks by helping out at that event!
2013-07-18 12:50 PM
in reply to: pilot_e

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Subject: RE: Volunteering
Are Multi sport canada and tri sport canada not for profit organizations?

2013-08-01 10:39 AM
in reply to: TheCrownsOwn

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Subject: RE: Volunteering
Neither MSC nor WEC is a not-for-profit, but they do offer you compensation by way of a t-shirt (tech shirt at MSC races - not sure about that other series) and lunch - highschoolers can also use those volunteer hours toward their community service requirements for graduation, so it's not as though the volunteers receive no benefit.

My husband (who doesn't race) and I have made a point of volunteering at least once per season with MSC over the last few years. It really is a fun way to spend a day; I generally race on Saturday then volunteer at the Sunday races. The speed of the fastest and great efforts of the less athletically gifted are wonderful to watch from the "outside", and you'll never be thanked so many times in your life. You'll also gain a greater appreciation for what the volunteers have to accomplish in order to make your day run smoothly and may have a more charitable attitude in future when you have to pause for a half-second to get a cup of water at an aid station.

By volunteering you are giving back to a community that gives us so much, and helping other athletes have the same excellent race experience you hope for every time you toe the starting line.

For anyone doing the Sunday Sprint race at Wasaga, I'll see you in the water - just look for the kayaker with the enormous grin!

Cheers!

-mistress k
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Canadian Triathlon Forum Ontario » Volunteering Rss Feed  
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