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Volunteers are the heart and soul of our club

Tom McPeake from Crumlin volunteers with Crumlin United Football Club

1. What does your volunteering involve?
I am Chairperson of the club and I also organise all the coaching and take part in the coaching for the First and Second Senior Teams, the Ladies Team, Under 19s, Under 15s, Under 13s and we are just about to embark on a project for children aged 6-11 which will involve football coaching and general games for both boys and girls.

2. When did you first begin volunteering?
1967

3. What inspired you to get involved?
Football! Crumlin is a very small town and a lot of investment was going into Antrim,  for me as a young man back in the 60s and a lover of football myself and a group of mates decided to set up a football team as an outlet for young men in the area. We borrowed 25 from a local business man called Gerry Mallon and the rest is history.

4. What attracted you to the role?
The need in the community, we were all young and naive and I knew that the club would give us a structure to our lives and offer us discipline.

5. What skills or qualities are required for your volunteering role?
Being able to listen to others, management and delegation, and most of all patience.

6. Why do you volunteer?
Football is my hobby and enjoyment outside of everyday life and if I can coach and involve others in the sport then it will always be a love of mine and never a chore. 

7. How often do you volunteer?
3 hours per night, and at least 3 nights per week.

8. What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
The success of the teams, watching all the young people representing Crumlin and most of all the fact that the whole community gets involved with the club from young to old.

9. Why would you encourage others to get involved?
Volunteers are the heart and soul of our club, to be successful we will always need their involvement, we don’t want to lose what we have built up for the community and believe me when I say this you will get more out of volunteering than you ever put in.               

10. What has been the highlight of your volunteering?
I have a few, when the club entered the Lisburn Amateur League, when we won the Junior Shield, when we won the Premiership Intermediate League 1996 Season, won the Border Cup in 2001 and most of all our we club got to play Linfield at Windsor Park in the Irish Cup and if I had not been volunteering I would have missed out on all this success. 

11. What advice would you give someone starting to volunteer?
Make sure you have the time; do not eat into your family time, unless you make it a family activity because you will then begin to resent your volunteering as volunteering is all about enjoying yourself. Do not take on too much, just do what you have time to do and always ask for help this is strength not a weakness.

12. Do you think the London 2012 Olympics will inspire people to get involved in sport and will it leave a legacy?
I think it will get people involved in sport however if there had have been an event in Northern Ireland there would have been more of a chance of a legacy being left.