Jim Hunter

Inspirational Perthshire sports volunteer Jim Hunter was awarded a Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering (COV) Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 sportscotland COV Awards, in recognition of his longstanding commitment to making athletics more accessible to people of all abilities. We caught up with him to hear more about his volunteer story and his advice to others considering volunteering in the future. 

What was your experience in sport growing up?

I was a keen participant in many individual / team sports starting and encouraged when I was at school. I never progressed further than club standard but it was an enriching social experience for me. Friends I made through sport then are still friends today.

What is your volunteering experience to date?

Since I was a senior athlete aged 16 (40 plus years ago) at my local club getting asked to help out with ‘the wee ones’ and I’ve been involved in a variety of volunteering roles with Perth Strathtay Harriers ever since. I went down a coach qualification route (guided by my SGB, scottishathletics) and have been fortunate to work with many wonderful national standard athletes and coaches over the years. I now volunteer with a number of local sports charities and community groups. I continue to learn.

What/who inspired you to get into volunteering?

Looking back, I was simply asked to help out, but by an inspirational fellow volunteer who was a wonderful role model for me and many others. Once I was involved, that was me hooked for life - literally.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

For me it’s the challenge of helping others reach their potential, often when the participant isn’t as confident of their progression as I am that creates a sense of fulfilment. It is not just about reaching regional or national standard it’s about looking at the individual and setting goals together however big or small. But, always remembering to enjoy the journey.

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

There are many challenges - and I am sure what I face / have faced is no different to most people. Volunteering takes time and you have to manage the time carefully or you can end up committing too much and risk not delivering. Constant financial constraints can be a negative. Working closely with those around me helps to meet the challenges.

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

Volunteering is so rewarding. It has been great for my physical and mental health. If you have a spare hour, find something that interests you and go for it. Think about your skill set (not just physical activity based) and consider how you can help a local community organisation.

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


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