Halifax Swimming Club volunteer wins Swim England Inspirational Volunteer Award
A Halifax Swimming Club volunteer has been honoured as an inspiration after winning big at the Swim England National Awards last week.
David Culf, 47, of Halifax Swimming Club, won the Swim England National Inspirational Volunteer Award for his services to the club and Calderdale Leisure over the pandemic.
A parent of three swimmers, Culf stepped forward to take the role of ‘Covid Lead’ and worked to ensure a safe return to water through risk assessments, swimmer bubbles and liaising with the local authorities.
“I think we can spend a lot of time waiting and expecting people to help or money to fix the problems when, in fact, well intentioned and motivated people can overcome most of the challenges and create something special to support others,” said Culf.
The Culf family took it upon themselves to keep members fit throughout lockdown, starting an open-water swimming session at Gladdings Dam, Todmorden a few times a week.
“What extra motivation do you need to support kids when they are prepared to go to those lengths to enjoy the sport they love,” added Culf who was already a committee member of the club before the pandemic.
After it was announced that Halifax Swimming Pool was to close indefinitely, the club was left without a pool to train in, instead forced to look elsewhere for facilities.
This evolved and expanded Culf’s role, as he faced positively into an ambiguous situation and quickly began sourcing a new pool for the club to train in, finding assistance at Heathfield Pool, Rishworth.
The award winner thanked committee members Mary McClung and Elaine Shaw for their gratitude over the past year and for inspiring him to step forward and help.
Moving forward, Culf plans to work closely with Calderdale Council to create a new high-class pool facility in the area.
“Being recognised by my family, friends club and finally on the national stage was a very humbling experience,” said Culf.
“I didn’t do any of it for the recognition but if it inspires one more person to do the same then it will have been worth it.”