A Burnham-On-Sea Swimming Club leader has been presented with a top volunteering award this week.

Somerset Amateur Swimming Association has given Kelly Podbury a County Award as she performs both Competition Secretary and Volunteer Co-ordinator roles for Somerset ASA.

A spokesman said: “Sport at Club, County, Regional and National level relies on volunteers. And on Day 7 of Volunteers Week we would like to pay tribute to all the Volunteer Co-ordinators and Meet Promoters.”

“Too often people only realise how much Volunteer Co-ordinators and Meet Promoters do when they stop or leave an organisation. So it is particularly pleasing to see Kelly Podbury receive a County Award as she performs both Competition Secretary and Volunteer Co-ordinator roles for Somerset ASA.”

“Many of you will have seen Kelly’s smiling face or heard her cheerful voice at a pool somewhere after she took on the role of Competition Secretary a few years ago. Her infectious enthusiasm caught hold of everyone as she endeavoured to find out all she could about the role and how she could make sure that the County’s Championships were the best they could be at that time.”

“Her training took her up to Ponds Forge and national competitions where she found out how it could be done, what worked and what didn’t. She admitted she did’t know a lot about running competitions at the time but was willing to learn and boy did she soak up the information.”

“Competition Secretary is a challenging role, not least because Swim England can change the guidelines with unsettling regularity, but also within such a large and diverse County you can guarantee it’s not possible to please everyone all of the time.”

“But Kelly revels in a challenge. Every year she listens to feedback and then consults to try and ensure that we provide the best opportunities for our swimmers through both our Championships and our Development Meet. The organisation is tremendous and improvements are made every year as new initiatives are tried.”

“Kelly is also our Young Volunteer Co-ordinator, which she has found to be one of the most rewarding roles in volunteering. Seeing our young volunteers learn and develop as they push themselves beyond their comfort zones is inspiring. There are not many 15/16 year olds who would be willing to give announcing a go to an audience of hundreds and do it so well. Kelly’s quiet but motivational encouragement that makes all this possible.”

Fiona Bowen, County Secretary, added: “Kelly is always there to support other members of the committee when required – a real team player. I’ve totally lost count of the times she’s asked me if she can help, when I know that she’s pushed to the limit herself. On behalf of Somerset ASA, a massive thank you for the contribution you have made, and we hope will continue to make, to enrich so many people’s journey through aquatics.”