A volunteer who works tirelessly to give other the opportunity to take part in sport for free has had his dedication recognised after being named sportscotland Volunteer of the Year 2019.
Thomas Buik has been the driving force behind SAPC Community Sport Hub in Darnley, Glasgow. He created the hub to make sure young people in the area have access to free sport, and his passion has made that a reality. The hub now offers seven sports on a weekly basis with only the lowest possible charge to participants for competitive sport.
The chairperson of the hub, as well as event organiser, child protection lead and pretty much any other job required, Thomas volunteers many hours every week and dedicates time beyond that to work on funding applications and other avenues to generate funds for the hub.
SAPC now operates from six different locations in the area and delivers badminton, basketball, cricket, cycling, football, multi-sport, netball and table tennis sessions every week. Thomas is now pursuing a permanent facility for the hub in the area.
In his own words
Thomas says the enjoyment of the participants at the club is paramount to him and he is determined to ensure the hub remains strong for plenty of future of generations to enjoy.
He said: “There was nothing there and now we have something. We want to keep it and maintain it so that other people can take over when we get a bit older.
"If the participant isn’t happy, if it isn’t fun, they are going to stop coming. If you can’t make it fun and a happy place for them to be in you’re not really doing something that great. I think it is important that we get that across.
“In this area there is 20% BAME [black, Asian and minority ethnic]. That community is heavily involved in this hub which is great, we come together as one big community.”
Thomas picked up his award at the sportscotland Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards 2019 at Glasgow City Chambers on 21 November.
Inspirational coaches, officials and volunteers from all over Scotland were recognised across 15 categories for their significant contribution to sport.
Hosted by BBC Scotland’s Bryan Burnett, the Awards celebrated coaches, officials and volunteers for their work in sports such as swimming, cycling, athletics, football, karate, wheelchair curling, basketball, boxing and canoeing.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: “Every year across Scotland, thousands of dedicated sporting enthusiasts devote their time, knowledge and skills to afford others the chance to take part in sport, and experience all the benefits that come with sport participation.
“Our Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards give us a chance to celebrate the great sporting achievements that are taking place every day and congratulate those who are making an incredible commitment to Scottish sport.
“At sportscotland we are implementing a world-class sporting system at every level and that is only possible with the support of the many dedicated coaches, officials and volunteers.”
Find out more
Visit the sportscotland website for information about coaching, officiating and volunteering.