This is a post by club member Dave Ali Marlow
There are some excellent reasons why volunteering is worth it! Give a little, gain a lot. Here are ten I can think of:
1) Its good for your health, - I am not just saying this. Studies have found that when you stop thinking about your own concerns and focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels start to decrease, your immune system is strengthened and your overall sense of well-being increases.
2) Career Booster – volunteering boosts your career prospects, it helps you create a positive impression, makes you innovative, creative and gives you a range of useful skills. I am not just saying this, recruiters do too.
3) Learn New Skills – A range of soft skills will make you more appealing to employers, whether you are leading rides, marshalling on a race or helping at a local sportive you will face a range of problems to solve. You may have to manage a range of personalities and adjust your own comfort zones too. This will all aid you to demonstrate your ability to teamwork, problem solve and exercise your people skills. New skills are one of the best reasons to step outside of your comfort zone and volunteer.
4) Experience – real-world experience is a powerful motivator for taking on a challenge of a volunteering role. You might be gaining first aid, ride leader or decision-making experience in tricky situations, learning each time with something to add to your repertoire and share with others.
5) Impact – by volunteering you help to shape and build the community you want to live (ride) in. It is a chance to be part of something bigger than yourself and exercise your civic duty. Who knows today you might volunteer for a local role at the cycling club and this might be the stepping stone to a bigger opportunity, perhaps a gap year with an international organisation!
6) Sustainability – Cycling is a healthy and sustainable transport mechanism that also supports the local community. Okay, Mostly people who sell coffee, cakes or fix bikes!! Taking that volunteer role, encouraging others to enjoy cycling, plan and lead rides together without a huge impact on others or the environment has to be a good thing.
7) Empowerment – as a volunteer you are empowered to represent the club and feedback to the club to shape it's running and future. You may also be enabling and empowering members, that might be something as simple as words of encouragement or practical like assisting with a mechanical. All the empowerment means we develop as a club, riders feel welcome and can thrive in our inclusive club ethos.
8) New Connections, Friends and Fun – By now you have probably made lots of new connections in the club, volunteering with us means you start to work even more closely with others, building onto your network of connections. Most opportunities in the club need a volunteer to coordinate, you might be involved in cyclo-cross or dare I mention MTB initiatives. Who knows….. !!
9) Gain a New Perspective – Volunteering may change your view of the club and wider cycling community you may find new opportunities with those around you who are also volunteering and involved in cross club activities to promote racing or cycling within specific community groups.
10) Give something back – There is a small number of volunteers who work really hard to keep WLRCC moving forward. As an inclusive club, we make sure we value all our members. You might be able to commit a lot of time or little but trust me when I say whatever you can do will be both appreciated and be worthwhile. If this blog has inspired you to think about volunteering either now or in the future, or you would like to discuss what might be possible come and speak to one of us, who knows your unique skills may be a huge asset to the community. If you are not sure who is who you can find out here https://www.wlrcyclingclub.co.uk/about