Janet Brunton

What was your experience of sport growing up?

In Primary School, I was involved in the netball and athletics team. When I moved up to Secondary School, I was still involved in netball and athletics, but also started playing badminton, hockey and I ran the school table tennis club. I was the county schools champion 100m and runner up in the 80m hurdles.

When I got to University, I was involved in the table tennis team but also became a member of the fencing club. I went on to study a Post Graduate, gaining a Diploma in Recreation and Leisure which included Sports Management, History and Social Psychology of Sport.

I now work as a Further Education lecturer in Fitness and Health, I’m a level 4 Pilates/Fitness Instructor, and a level 2 gym instructor.

What is your volunteering experience to date?

I have volunteered at the Meadows Croquet Club since 2021. Some of my duties have included cleaning, club socials, corporate events, lawn watering, leaf sweeping, hoop moving assistant, finding new members, taking photos for archive, attending if the alarm is activated, and organising practice sessions for the Women’s Golf Croquet Scotland Squad.

What/who inspired you to get into volunteering?

I saw right away the huge amount of work/skills across all sorts of duties that were needed for the club to run efficiently and effectively and as I had some time and skills I wanted to make a contribution. I actively enjoyed the jobs I did so what’s not to like!

I immediately took to croquet as a sport and wanted to help develop it at all levels – from Sunday afternoon social croquet through to improving diversity and excellence. It is one of the most diverse/accessible sports I have ever come across.

Lorna Dewar (former Captain) was a member when I joined and she is now a world champion. I used to see her practising and she inspired me with her dedication and also her willingness to serve as Captain and to help new players like me.

I also feel inspired by Rosemary Saunders Robertson who has been to New Zealand to play in the World Women's Association Croquet Championships. She is inspirational as she is a top player and spends a lot of her time encouraging and playing with less experienced players like myself. 

All the members who were very welcoming and helpful when I was new. The club committee members and coaches were all very encouraging and they all work very hard and so I felt I should do my bit too.

I wanted to learn all about croquet – how to play, how the lawn functions, how the Board functions, how much things cost, equipment, what problems we have etc – volunteering is a good way to get an understanding of a game and a club.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

I like to feel I am contributing, and I take satisfaction in any jobs that I can do. It helps me understand the game of croquet and makes me feel a part of the club. I got to know people in the club more quickly through volunteering, and I enjoy work type activities and providing a service to others.

Have you had to overcome any challenges or barriers whilst volunteering?

I had to learn how to do some of the tasks – for example, I did a basic online cleaners’ course designed for professional cleaners, took extra photography lessons and refreshed my health and safety knowledge.

What advice would you give to others looking to get involved in volunteering?

Definitely volunteer, it’s very worthwhile. Put health and safely first – set out and adhere to policy/procedures for example, on working at heights, lone working and working with chemicals.

Do a personal skills audit/address gaps – the better you are at the task the more satisfaction you will gain and the service you provide will be better too! Always check club policy and practice to keep yourself right!

Date published: 14 July 2023
Date updated: 14 July 2023


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