Saying thank you in style! Celebrations held at Volunteers event.

The Sporting Memories team in Scotland were delighted to help make very special memories with the help of some fabulous guests last week for our Volunteers celebration. We held our third Volunteers ‘Thank-you’ event on Wednesday 7th June at Broxburn United Sports Club. This also coincided nicely with the final day of Volunteers Week.

On a beautiful day, we were delighted to welcome volunteers and staff, alongside some special guests and our event sponsors, Iron Mountain EMEA to join us for a day of activities and discussion, which also featured a lovely buffet lunch supplied by local company, Nom Noms.

The event was hosted by John Rowbotham who was a former Class 1 football referee and had handled many a top-flight game during his 25-year career. So, a room of rowdy sports fans was not going to be a problem!!!

John and Tam relive some memorable footballing moments

John welcomed to the room our first guest speaker, Tam McManus, former footballer who started his career with Hibernian, making over 100 league appearances for the Edinburgh club. During his time there, McManus represented the Scotland national under-21 football team and the Scotland Future team. After leaving Hibs in January 2005, McManus had a nomadic career, including two spells in both the US and the Republic of Ireland.

(John Rowbotham Left - Tam McManus Right)

John and Tam knew each well and the banter was of the highest quality with stories from both of the ups and downs of being a professional footballer. Tam shared that at the end of his footballing career how low he felt facing a future in which he didn’t know what to do. He ‘fell’ into blogging and his forthright thoughts and opinions soon garnered the attention of the mainstream media and Tam is a regular live match reporter for BBC Radio Scotland and co-commentator for Hibs TV.

Thank you to a long-serving volunteer

Our volunteers are the life blood of Sporting Memories. Without them, there would be no Clubs. So, it was apt to recognise one of our longest serving volunteers with a surprise presentation. He didn’t have a clue this was happening and we managed to keep it a total secret until Charlie Watt, from our sponsors, Iron Mountain, called out his name. Rob Risien was presented with a trophy to keep the mantelpiece decorated and a gift from Iron Mountain in recognition of his immeasurable contributions.

(Rob Risien receives his award)

A sponsor who understands the importance of volunteering

We had guests from Iron Mountain present at the event including their European Vice President, Pete Long, who shared some words on why a document and data management company is a perfect alignment for Sporting Memories. Supporting volunteering is at the heart of Iron Mountain’s staff policies. All staff are encouraged to volunteer at least two days a year. They know it is good for personal motivation and satisfaction. Iron Mountain aim to move mountains one at a time. We thank them again for their valued contributions.

(Some of the Iron Mountain guests enjoying lunch)

Olympic Glory and Gold

Did you know that an Olympic gold medal really does have gold in it and weighs very heavily around a champions neck! We got to touch and hold one last week when Jenn Dodds joined us to share her Beijing 2022 Olympic Gold Memories.

Jenn was part of the Women’s British curling team who took home top honours from Beijing. You can catch a glimpse of her and her team mates here winning that Gold. Jenn gave a very frank talk on competing in World Class events, the stresses involved and the highs and lows. Covid lockdowns were a particularly hard time for her personally and keeping motivated, playing in really strict ‘bubbles’ and missing major tournaments took their toll.

(Jen Dodds Left with Volunteer Linda Allan Right)

Many a volunteer listening were quietly nodding their heads as they recalled the challenges presented during Covid in keeping Sporting Memories able to continue to provide support for members. Jenn very graciously allowed us to examine her medal closely and was happy to pose for some pictures.

Never too old for football

Our day of memories finished up with Simon McLean, one of our volunteers, hosting a chat with walking football enthusiast, Stuart Campbell. Walking Football and Sporting Memories share many volunteers and members in Scotland, with the common denominator of course being the beautiful game. And there were some beautiful moves from Stuart on video of his legendary goal-keeping for his Walking Football games. Stuart currently plays in goal for Drumchapel United over 60s and over 70s in the West of Scotland league and The Republic of Ireland over 70s.

(Simon McLean Left & Stuart Campbell Right)

Stuart has also written a novel, entitled The Diehards. The Diehards describes how five social misfits from Glasgow form a team, behave badly, rage against the dying of the light and embark on a life changing adventure. He shared a few excerpts and the characters weren’t hard to identify with! We’ve all met them in one form or another.

Ready for a Quiz?

What would a meet-up of Sporting Memories friends be without Spot the Ball and a Quiz? Not a real meeting we say!

Everyone was invited to try their luck with a giant Spot the Ball and it was a hard one indeed. Some might say that the winning cross was just a lucky attempt but well done to Broxburn Sporting Memories volunteer Stephen Stewart for winning the prize.

We had a quiz too and there was much shaking of heads, conferring and arguing before we ended up with a tie break! “How many ATP titles has Andy Murray won?” - How the right answer was reached could be subject to a stewards enquiry but general consensus was that volunteer John Allan from Abbeyview, Dunfermline was the fastest off the mark with 45!

Iron Mountain again shared their generosity with prizes for both Stephen and John.

Truly a wonderful day with more memories made and again to our volunteers a GREAT BIG THANK YOU!

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