Happy (belated!) International Volunteers Day
Five days of pumping water from pitch, involving multiple volunteers working in pouring rain and covered in mud. It’s cold, it’s dirty, it’s a job that’s non stop.
Meanwhile, programmes are written and printed, food is bought and prepared, the bar is stocked, the ground is tidied, and litter is picked up. Repairs are made, bulbs are changed, areas are painted. Drains are cleared, changing rooms mopped and cleaned, the grass is cut, and weeds are killed. The plants are looked after, the kit is dropped off, the kit is picked up, and suppliers are paid.
The Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are kept active, the website is updated, the media are contacted. People order kits, people order merchandise, these must be picked up, packed up, and sent. People request information or ask questions, these are answered and dealt with. Sponsors must be found, advertising is carried out, marketing on and offline is a constant. The community is engaged with, meetings are attended, community groups are aided. Centenary plans are ongoing, fixtures are organised, events are being planned, the supporters club arranged. Graphic design for flyers is completed, graphic design for online use is created, graphic design for videos is finished. Club magazine is researched, written, and designed. Match reports are written, match previews are written, interviews are carried out.
Match day comes, the ground is opened, change is picked up, the gate is run. Prizes are obtained, raffle tickets sold, programmes are sold, merchandise is sold. Club shop is cleaned, tidied, prepared and opened, the bar is stocked and cleaned, people are served before, during and after the game. Glasses are cleaned, tables are wiped, empties removed. Food for teams and officials is prepared, cooked and served, secretary duties are performed, team sheets are written up. Food is prepared, orders are taken, food is served, kitchen is cleaned. Supporters are welcomed, issues are dealt with, mascots are organised, expenses are paid. Twitter commentary is carried out, and Facebook updated during the game. Photos are taken, video is filmed, these are downloaded, edited, and put online. The website fixtures are updated, the league table is updated, post match day content is written and uploaded, and graphics created for next game.
All of this for a Saturday game, do it all again if there’s a midweek fixture, do it all again for an under 16s game. All of the above, up to 3 times a week, for a full season.
All of this keeps the club running behind the scenes and is only a glimpse of the task at hand, not taking into account what needs to be done by the management team to train, prepare, and put eleven players on the pitch come match day.
This is our week this week at Selby Town, and a standard week at that. Hundreds of clubs across the country do similar every single week, each one surviving on the blood, sweat, and tears of hard working individuals who work for nothing and expect nothing, other than the knowledge that on a match day – if the weather doesn’t render all of the above a waste of time – a couple of hundred supporters will be cheering on the team.
And then it begins again.