Michael Goldie

Michael volunteers within tennis in Scotland and was awarded the Tennis Scotland Volunteer of the Year award for 2022. We caught up with him to find out more about his volunteering experience and his advice for others thinking about volunteering. 

What was your experience in sport growing up?

Basically nothing. Where I grew up you either played football or were involved in school organised events. Otherwise, you would just find a blade of grass and play a sport that was on TV at that time.

What is your volunteering experience to date?

I choose to offer a good number of hours with both my club and district and. When it comes together and you see a positive result because of your effort, that makes it very much worthwhile. Do it because you care!

What/who inspired you to get into volunteering?

What! It was the lack of opportunity to play tennis. When I arrived at the club as a new member there was literally only a 2-hour session for members to get together to play tennis and a junior coaching program which gave us 4 hours a week. This made it very hard to play regularly, as the adult club night only ran for 5 months in the summer. That doesn’t make a club.

Roll on 10 years later, we now have double the membership, club nights running over 5 days, a singles box league, a junior program running 6 days a week with over 20 hours a week coaching and we enter 11 teams into our district leagues which only has 31 teams. We now inspire others!

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

Basically, to see both adults and juniors playing tennis regularly as that is what it is all about, playing the game. Whether it’s free play, club sessions or our coaching program - just seeing our courts getting used makes it all worthwhile. Our Sport is great and sometimes you just have to get people on court to appreciate it.

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

Many. There will always be challenges and/or barriers in our sport. We have recently just replaced our playing surface and floodlights and that brings a challenge trying to secure funding to help with costs whilst still trying to make the sport affordable.

Then you have the other side of the coin, dealing with the balance of court bookings. Running so many hours for junior coaching and adult club nights then it leaves very little time for casual play, so keeping that balance to make sure all your members get the access they want. Otherwise, you lose members. Always listen to all parties.

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

If you want to volunteer, then make sure to control your time you give, focus on something that relates to you. Make sure there is good communication between you and the committee(s) and the members. Always reflect on what you do and do not volunteer to do something because no one else wants to do it. Make sure you feel you make a difference.

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


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