Have you been inspired to Volunteer by the Commonwealth Games? Please speak to one of the Swim Wales Team to get involved! Read Rhiannon’s story:
Team Wales’ swimming stars proudly represented the country in the pool during the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, but there was another proud Welsh woman who played a key role during the meet.
Rhiannon Edwards has been a swimmer all her life, dreaming of starring at the Games from a young age, but ultimately missed out on diving into Commonwealth Games action. But this year, she got the opportunity that few people ever get, to be inches away from the action on poolside at Sandwell Aquatics Centre as an official.
The sport of swimming has been a key feature in Rhiannon’s life from a young age. Firstly she was a competitor, and then progressed to gaining her teaching and officiating qualifications. Over recent years, Rhiannon has gained her referee’s qualification and is currently on Fina Swimming List 20 as a Starter, being one of two Starters representing Great Britain from January 2019 to December 2022.
Rhiannon received the Swim Wales Award for Contribution to Aquatics in Wales in 2019, reflecting her hard work. This incredible achievement is the combination of passion for swimming, enthusiasm to progress, and many hours spent on poolside finessing her skills.
Rhiannon officiates at a range of events, at both national and local levels. Earlier in 2022, Rhiannon was selected to represent Wales within the Swimming Technical Officials team at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. An achievement to reflect her sustained commitment to the sport over the years.
Rhiannon’s journey to the Commonwealth Games has taken her through domestic, national and international meets, and she was privileged to represent her country as the eyes of the world were on Birmingham.
She said: “It’s an honour and privilege to represent Wales as a technical official at the Commonwealth Games. As a swimmer, it was a dream I didn’t quite achieve so to be selected as a technical official was an opportunity of a lifetime! While at the Games, I was part of a larger team, working with some of the most experienced technical officials from across the world. An exciting opportunity to witness some of the fastest swimmers and develop further as an official.
“The atmosphere in the venue was electric, and the experience and memories will stay with me forever. To go and represent Wales was an honour but I also saw it as an opportunity to represent all the volunteers across Wales who give up their time to ensure our swimmers have the opportunity to swim on the international stage, as well as at local meets.”
Rhiannon looks forward to sharing her experiences with other officials across Wales, and we look forward to seeing her back on poolside very soon! Congratulations, Rhiannon!
Swim Wales are always searching for volunteers to help run our world-class catalogue of events. If you are feeling inspired to become a volunteer or official, please speak to one of the Swim Wales Team.