As part of Volunteers Week 2017 we continue our profile of volunteers from across the sport. Today our focus is with coaches and we took the opportunity to briefly catch up with Mark Gold who coaches, as well as fulfilling a number of other volunteer roles, at Cardiff AAC.
What are your roles and what do you do?
I currently coach a wide age range and all ability levels at Cardiff AAC. I am also Team Manager for the clubs Cross Country teams from Under 15 and below, in addition, I am also a member of the General Committee at the club.
How did you get involved in athletics and volunteering?
I started athletics in the Army in 1993 and competed at Corps, Army and Combined Service levels, once I retired from competing in the sport due to injury, I decided to give back to the sport that I love by mentoring and coaching children and young adults. I try to ensure that everyone has the chance to take part in athletics and fulfil their potential.
How long have you been involved in the sport?
I have been involved in athletics since 1993 starting as an athlete, before moving into coaching and then management. I managed the Army Medical Services team and the Army team, before moving to Cardiff AAC to carry out both team management and coaching roles for the club.
What do you enjoy and what are the benefits?
Through coaching I get a huge sense of satisfaction in teaching new skills whilst watching the athletes grow and develop. Coaching and volunteering also gives me a sense of fulfilment –I believe that this comes from working in partnership with people and working towards a common goal.
Have you any highlights from your time volunteering in the sport?
There are many highlights, almost too many to recall. I guess that the underlying thing that resonates from volunteering is just watching and guiding a whole range of athletes. Some of the athletes that we work with in the club lack confidence or self-belief at the beginning, these develop into not only quality athletes, but also into quality individuals that go on to achieve both athletics and life goals.
What are your other interests?
I enjoy walking and spending time with my family who are all also involved in the sport.
As we know, coaching is one of the essential roles within our club structures and fundamental to the success of our athletes at all levels. For information on how to get involved in coaching or to find out where and when our coaching courses are, please visit the coaching pages of the Welsh Athletics website.
Volunteers Week is a great opportunity for clubs across Wales to pay tribute and say a big ‘thank you’ to the army of volunteers that work tirelessly to support athletics in Wales. Our campaign will run throughout the week, to get involved contact us via social media on the Welsh Athletics Facebook page or via Twitter using the hashtag: #volunteersweek
For more information please visit: http://volunteersweek.org/