Serena and Rhiannon talk about the joys of volunteering

January 30, 2022

Brighton and Hove AC is run entirely by volunteers, and we caught up with two of them to find out a bit more about what they do.

Hi, my name is Serena Smith, but you probably recognise me as the person standing at the gate at track twice a week (often shivering!). 

As well as volunteering at the gate, did you know that I am also a Committee Member,  Competition Manager and Team Manager plus the COVID-19 officer for the Club? A lot of roles, but ones that I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of performing over the years. 

My son first started his athletics pathway at the age of 4 attending Summer camps held at Withdean, run by Brighton and Hove Council and that is how his interest grew until he joined the U13s group at Withdean.  He is now a Senior Decathlete!

In those days I had no appreciation of how the club was run at all,  I only knew that I dropped him there and picked him up at the end of the session.  But as the years passed I got curious,  so one evening I attended a Committee meeting – and I was hooked. This was a way I could help the club by making important decisions and also having a say from a parents prospective which is invaluable and rewarding.

Over the years I have been a team manager for the Indoor Sports hall competitions, both the Lower and Upper Youth Development League, The British Athletic League, and the Southern Athletic League working alongside some of the countries best athletes and coaches despite my complete lack of experience. I have lead my team’s to promotion and my team in return gave their all and I have never been prouder….I also avoided the traditional winners end of season dunking in the Steeplechase water pits….to which I am very grateful!

I am so looking forward to this coming 2022 season athletics events and there are some big changes happening at Withdean over the coming months, not least we are purchasing a new high jump bed which will really put Withdean on the map for our National standard high jumpers.

Personal circumstances mean that I need to step back from some of them and that is where you come in!To help the Club keep moving forward we need more volunteers, if you can spare even just a small amount of time please consider becoming part of this fantastic organisation. Plus, the biggest bonus is that anyone who regularly volunteers can also train or have their child(children) train for free too.

So that is a very small introduction to me and my roles…….but what will your story be?

Serena, despite often being frozen, always has a smile on her face, and definitely makes a visit to the track a welcoming experience!


And our Membership Secretary Rhiannon writes about her experience of becoming an official:

Last summer, I officiated at two events which gave me a taster for track officiating. I wasn’t trained; I just offered my services, as officials are always needed.

The qualified officials were welcoming, supportive and showed me exactly what to do. I made a newbie error of knocking off the lap bell onto the track, when ringing it for the first time during a race. Red face from me but a good laugh all around. I won’t make that mistake again!

I recently completed my Level 1 Track Official course, held online over Zoom. The course organised by England Athletics is well run and explains everything a Level 1 Track Official may be asked to do at an event. You don’t need to learn the rules, and there is no exam. The good news is that all I need to do now is officiate at four events to be qualified – and bonus – the events I officiated at last summer count towards the 4!

Please do consider officiating at an event. We need more volunteers, without our officials these competitions won’t run. I am happy to talk about my experience so far; drop me an email:

Christel is our officials’ coordinator. Contact her by email at if you want to be added to the list.


Currently we desperately need volunteers to help on the gate (Thursday), Tuck shop (Tuesday/Thursday), and Committee members, but the list is endless!. If you’re interested speak to anyone on the gate on track nights or email