Jack Dryden |

Volunteering: umpiring then and now

Volunteers Week is from 1-7 June, so Jack Dryden talks to Bill Key and Oliver Tunnard about why they like umpiring

Rowing is widely recognised as a sport that can be carried all through life, with clubs and events to cater for all ages and abilities. But this is not just for athletes, it applies equally to those officiating. I caught up with Bill Key, one of British Rowing’s longest serving umpires, and Oliver Tunnard who, aged just 21, is the youngest umpire in the UK, to talk about their experiences and find out why they like volunteering.

Bill has been an umpire for over 55 years, adjudicating at more than 160 events in that time. What made him want to become an umpire?

He says: “I got involved with organising events soon after I started rowing, including the Cambridge Regatta. Of course, we needed umpires, so a number of the committee decided we’d just go for the exam.”

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