Marie Walker, Fitmums
I always enjoyed sport and as a child I took part in tennis, trampolining and football. As an adult, I became a trampolining coach where I volunteered three times a week. I needed a change so joined my local triathlon club. When I moved to a new house and area, I was encouraged (or talked) into going along to Fitmums and I have not looked back! I now cycle and run with Fitmums on a regular basis. It is my break from the kids and it help keep me sane! I'm not fast at all but I enjoy racing in triathlon – I just love the feeling of finishing a race.
I enjoy organising so it made sense for me to start volunteering and to be able to support new members. I help to lead and coordinate the cycle squad and I have organised time trials which have been a massive success. On a typical volunteering day, I start at 8:45am where I meet 10 plus cyclists for a 50 plus mile ride without getting lost. I always make sure there is a decent cake and coffee stop mid route.
It is rewarding to see new cyclists realise they can cycle and achieve great things – the progression of some of the cyclist is amazing to see. The social side of being involved in the cycling is great to, getting to spend time with other people with similar interests.
I love being part of Fitmums, it is such a supportive, friendly and inclusive group for all abilities. It's not just for your stereotypical sports people but for all sizes, shapes and abilities. I'm one of the slowest runners going but I can quite happily go on a 6 mile run with the guys and they always shepherd for me in such a supportive way. Yes they might do 7 miles to my 6 but is such a supportive way of including all abilities. We use the same ethos in cycling, never leave anyone behind. Plus, the amazing social side, can't beat the cake stops in cycle rides and pub social nights :)
Next month I'm doing my cycle leaders course which I organised for 19 Fitmums members. This will provide members with the confidence and ability to lead rides and encourage more people to get cycling.
In August I will be doing my first half ironman distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride and 13.1 mile run) triathlon. Triathlon for me is so varied, fun, sociable and for all abilities. I've got a 'knackered' hip, born with it and I had a hip replacement 5 years ago now. Triathlon gives cross training option that reduces injury and keeps me pain free. I love the variety of the 3 sports. Can't beat the solitude and relaxation if swimming in a lake - such a lovely way to start a summers day. Running is so easy to do anywhere any time. No prep needed, just need your kit so easy when your away. Biking (for me) is the best - get to explore the local countryside which is amazing but without biking I just wouldn't know!
really sure why I volunteer. I'm a bit of a control / organiser and it made sense to help out when the club started to help better what the cycle squad offered and help support all new members. I find it very rewarding when new members enjoy it asked coming back.