Jodie Cameron wins Scottish Rowing Senior Volunteer of the Year
In April, rower, Jodie Cameron was awarded Senior Volunteer of the Year by Scottish Rowing. One of only six types of awards, Jodie was presented with the honour due to her continued enthusiastic efforts with Scottish Rowing, and leading forward the St Andrews Boat Club following the departure of their director.
Amongst these notable volunteering efforts, Jodie was President of the Boat Club (2019-2020); Chair for Saints Regatta, which ran fully virtually in September; Women’s Captain of the Boat Club (2020-2021); volunteer in communications with Scottish Student Sport; and instrumental in coordinating the Virtual Indoor Championships an British Rowing Indoor Championships in November 2020.
Jodie’s volunteering efforts began when she took on the role of Alumni and Press Officer for the Boat Club in 2019. Jodie undertook the role as she was on her year abroad in France, as she wrote race reports and kept the social media up-to-date. After her arrival back in the UK and her familiarity with the way committee works, Jodie went on to become the Club’s President, and then Women’s Captain. In these various roles, Jodie was often leading forward 70 club members, the role of which is exacerbated further without a director of rowing.
Chair of Saints Regatta was Jodie’s favourite volunteering role so far. The regatta is normally held at Loch Ore Meadows, but last year, with the ongoing COVID restrictions, Jodie moved the event online. The virtual format allowed for clubs across Europe to be involved, who in an ordinary capacity, would not have travelled to Scotland. The event also accommodated for those who had never rowed before; another feature that would have been unseen of in its ordinary capacity. Not only did it see a surge in numbers but also raised a lot of money for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
Despite the restrictions presented by the global pandemic, Jodie certainly believes that the largely virtual opportunities for involvement increased, which capitalised her engagement in volunteering.
Ryan Glymond, who is on the Senior Men’s team, has equated Jodie’s commitments to the club as “second to none”. He went on to say, “over the past year, she has volunteered in person at BUCS head, organised the first ever virtual Saints regatta and marshalled at several national and international events. Jodie is always going the extra mile for her club and has been a constant source of enthusiasm for us all”. On the award, Ryan added that he could not “think of anyone more deserving of the award”.
Having rowed for twelve years, Jodie has been a prominent member of the University’s rowing team. She has been pivotal in some of St Andrews’ most notable rowing achievements, from finishing 4th in the championship lightweight pairs category at BUCS Regatta in 2018, and reaching the quarter-finals of Henley Women’s Regatta in 2018.
Admittedly, Jodie adds that rowing can be an intense sport with training six days a week with two sessions a day for the senior women’s and men’s teams. Though she added that team ethic and the “massive family” feeling have allowed the club to continue training online throughout the pandemic, whether that be through Zoom sessions or up-to-date Strava sessions. Jodie is very much looking forward to the prospect of competing this summer.
Nonetheless, Jodie believes that volunteering has been great way to learn new skills, and recommends that anyone interested in a sport or volunteering should consider being involved, from the club’s committee to larger roles and opportunities promoted by the Athletic Union and Saints Sport.
The award-winning volunteer and competitive athlete believes all of these experiences combined, from leadership to interpersonal skills, will be carried forward as she begins her PGCE course in September. Jodie adds that she has learned that success comes from passionate people working together effectively, and that the “club committee has both passion and dedication in bucketloads”.