SIX youth swimmers from Chard & District Swimming Club have been awarded places on the ASA South West Young Volunteer Programme, writes Hannah Pullinger.

Last year, one of the older swimmers, Steph Hallam, who has now left for university, was awarded the Somerset ASA Young Volunteer of the Year award, and this has certainly inspired other members of the club to see how they can expand their interest in swimming and give something back to the club and to the sport they have dedicated so much time to over the years.

With the help of former coaches John and Pamela Farrant, the club has been working hard towards achieving the Swim 21 Club Accreditation, and this enabled them to put forward nominations for the Young Volunteer Programme.

The six swimmers were delighted to be accepted on the scheme and attended their first training day last weekend organised by Somerset ASA, along with ten swimmers from other clubs.

They learnt about organising Aquatics Events, being a Team Manager and the basics of time-keeping and judging at competitions.

This will enable them to help out at club events, and in the future county and regional competitions as well.

The six are already stepping up to the challenge, helping with junior sessions, time-keeping and marshalling at Club Galas and writing reports and taking photographs for the press.

On Saturday (February 11) they are helping with the club's first Preliminaries Gala for the 10 and unders — one length races designed to introduce younger members to competitive swimming in a friendly, fun way.

The Chard club is always looking for new members; sessions are held at Axminster, Chard and Crewkerne, as well as long course training at Millfield School pool.

If you would like to find out more or arrange a free trial please visit our web-site at