Volunteering in action

Everyday heroes

Volunteers give so much to sport, but what do they get out of it?

Volunteers are the unsung heroes of sport.

They set up the games hall, organise the registration list, ensure everyone gets to competitions and keep clubs welcoming for their communities. 

Without them, sport wouldn't be able to take place. Here we highlight the achievements of two volunteers who have dedicated so much of their time to sport throughout the years.


Patty Coghill, 47, has spent 20 years running Wick Juniors badminton club on a completely voluntary basis. The junior club has 120 members aged nine to 15 with a total of eight coaches - it's no mean feat!

Patty is responsible for every aspect of the club, from booking venues and arranging transport to organising competitions. Her passion and motivation to succeed have inspired a full team of volunteers to work for her, giving up every weekend in all weather conditions to support Wick Juniors.

Patty explains: “I started volunteering with the club when I was 19 years old. The lady who coached me asked if I would come along and help, and that’s how I got involved.

Patty Coghill, the 2016 sportscotland Volunteer of the Year

“As a coach I think it’s important to engage with all children, regardless of their ability, and that’s where I believe our club succeeds. I want to encourage everyone to come along and be the best player that they can be, but the main thing is that they all enjoy it at the same time, and I believe that they do."

It is evident from speaking to her fellow volunteers that Patty really does go beyond the call of duty to ensure that her badminton club operates seamlessly. She is a highly motivated individual who is determined to beat the odds in the best interest of her juniors. 

She tells us: "Being located in Wick can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, especially when travelling to competitions, but it is our duty to ensure that these children get the opportunity to compete and get these experiences where they might not have been able to previously."

The fact that others are inspired to also give up their free time to volunteer alongside Patty speaks volumes – she truly leads by example.

Patty won the sportscotland Volunteer of the Year Award in our 2016 Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards.


Andrew Lauder, 20, has made a significant contribution in the past five years to the Tryst Community Sports Club in Falkirk, where he is a young Hub Leader.

Andrew has been crucial to the success of the club and is the face of the Holiday Camp programme, which has become the centrepiece of what the club delivers.  He came up with the idea and implemented it and every summer the programme has been oversubscribed.

Andrew Lauder, 2016 sportscotland Young Volunteer of the Year

As a fan of Falkirk FC from a young age, Andrew also voluntarily assists the football team with matchday media operations and is assistant kitman to the first team. Being a volunteer in sport can be such a diverse role within sport and Andrew has really embraced those opportunities. 

Andrew said: “I have been involved in volunteering at The Tryst Community Sports Club since I was a pupil at Larbert High School and I can truthfully say it has been the best experience.

"Volunteering has made me realise what I want to do with my life: to become a PE teacher. The skills and the knowledge I have developed from volunteering has put me well on my way for the rest of my life.

“I would really like to encourage young people like myself to volunteer. The buzz you get from knowing you are making a difference to your local community is amazing."

Andrew was named sportscotland Young Volunteer of the Year at our 2016 Coaching, Officiating and Volunteering Awards.

Find out more

Would you like to volunteer in sport? Check out the sportscotland website for information and current roles:

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