The Kent FA continues to shine the spotlight on volunteers as part of two weeks of celebrations aimed to reward and recruit volunteers.
Today we hear from Southern Counties East Football League Chair and Kent FA Council Member and Board Director, Denise Richmond.
What does your role involve?
My role as Chair of the league is to oversee the running of the league from an administration point of view and working with League officers to provide adult men’s football at Levels 5 and 6 as part of the National League System. While as Kent FA Board Director and Council Member my roles include administration and ensuring we (Kent FA) engage with all areas of grassroots football across the County.
How did you get into volunteering?
I started as secretary of Greenwich Borough Football Club in 1988, following the retirement of their secretary. No experience of either admin or Football, but my partner and his friends at the time were on the clubs management committee and got me involved.
Why did you get involve?
I had recently moved down to London from Derbyshire and needed to make new friends and this seemed a good way to do that whilst also contribution to the running of the club.
Do you have a favourite memory from volunteering?
I have many favourite memories of Southern Counties East Football League clubs winning games in the FA Vase and FA Cup. As Chair that’s generally the only time I can actually support a club and cheer for them, along with quite a few disappointments too.
Probably my most favourite memory from the League perspective was Deal Town winning the FA Vase and being present in the Royal Box when they came up to collect their medals and the Vase itself. A few of those players were formerly Greenwich Borough players so I knew them personally.
Personally I am very proud when I was elected as a member of the 5/6 Focus Group, as a woman in the Senior Men’s game, its rewarding to be recognised by my peers around the country that I actively contribute and add value to the game.
How has volunteering benefitted you?
Volunteering has given me the confidence to speak with and deal with all levels of people, both involved in Football and other areas of my life.
I have the confidence and ability to make presentations and manage large groups of people (AGM’s) and management meetings.
I have met, and become friends with so many people from around Kent and all over the country involved in the same level of football as me.
Why would you encourage others to volunteer in football?
You can learn so much from experienced people and get to know people from all walks of life. Volunteer can improve your own confidence and develop skills that help you with your working life and lead to making new friends.
What advice would you give to new volunteers?
My advice would be to get Involved and help where you can. Don’t be afraid to ask Questions and be brave.
Get your club and league involved
If you’re a member of a local football club or league, then you’ll know how valuable volunteers are.
#KentFAThanksU is your chance to celebrate and show your appreciation for those volunteers that make the game in your area possible for so many. We have launched a toolkit full of useful resources so clubs and leagues can make the most of the campaign by clicking here .
For more details
For more details of how your club and league can get involved please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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