Shirley Wigley Volunteer of the Year 2016

Shirley Wigley  –  Boldmere Swimming Club 

Shirley Wigley joined Boldmere swimming club when her daughter started swimming in 1998. In her first year of membership Shirley stood for and was elected as Secretary. Shirley has been an active volunteer in the club ever since.

Shirley qualified as a referee in 2005. She is qualified as a disability referee, is a Level 2 Teacher and has completed the ASA Team Manager course.

Over the years Shirley has held many positions within the club. She has served two periods of office as Secretary, she has been Chief Instructor and for the last three years she has been Chair.

Shirley’s approach has always been inclusive. She is a champion of equality and participation for all. She has worked hard to foster links with other North Birmingham Clubs through her work with Warwickshire ASA, the Birmingham Swimming Forum and the North Birmingham Swimming Action Group.

Most notably Shirley has built closer links between the North Birmingham Clubs and beyond in her role in Training Officials. Shirley has successfully trained J1, J2 and J2S candidates from Boldmere, City of Birmingham, Foxhollies, Kingsbury, Blythe and Orion. In the last year she has also run FINA Rules Update and Contemporary Issues mandatory training courses for the officials of North Birmingham.

Shirley has taken a leading role in Boldmere’s swim camps. She has been Team Manager and chaperone on each of the five residential swim camps the club has organised including this year’s swim camp to Torremolinos in October.

Through her links with the scouts and education Shirley has developed close links between the swimming clubs of North Birmingham and the Sutton Junior Schools, the Sutton Senior Schools and the Sutton Scouts. Shirley has always supported their annual swimming galas but she has also encouraged many other volunteers from Boldmere and Perry Beeches to do the same.

The biggest challenges that Shirley has faced in swimming have arisen during her tenure as chair of the club in the last few years. Managing a club with nearly six hundred members and over eighty coaches, teachers, lifeguards and volunteer is a full time job in itself but Shirley has also led the club to address the challenges we face with the move of all of our pools into private management: the potential loss of the clubs learn to swim programme and the income that this generates to support the clubs Competitive Swimming and Water Polo sections. 

Shirley was one of the driving forces behind the Community Asset Transfer of Castle Vale Pool. This was a project in which Shirley was involved from inception to completion.  This transfer gives Boldmere SC access to a pool that is not privately managed and where we will be able to run a ‘learn to swim’ programme that should ensure the continued existence of the club in the future.

Shirley has given freely of her time and of herself to swimming and the local swimming community. She has always done this in good grace, with enthusiasm and with joy. She is an example to us all.