National Volunteer Award Profile - John Hicks

The second winner from the sixth round of Bowls Scotland National Volunteer Awards is John Hicks from Baillieston Bowling Club.

John is a long-time member at Baillieston BC, having joined his beloved local club in 1996. Within just three years of being a member, John had already joined the clubs committee as he wanted to support the club as best as he could with his skills and experience. Throughout his time on the committee John has carried out a number of different roles but he is best known for being the clubs dependable Treasurer.

Speaking on the various roles he has carried out, John said: “I have been a committee member for 24 years, with 21 of those years as Treasurer. I was also the Club President during our centenary year in 2012.

“Generally, the roles comprise stewardship, creating a business model to ensure that we are on a secure financial footing and attending to care and maintenance of the clubhouse and grounds. As Treasurer, I deal with purchasing and can spend a lot of time trying to get the best deals.

“My motivation is helping make sure that each activity benefits the club taking into account legal, financial, safety and environmental regulations and influences.

“Baillieston Bowling Club also has a long history of raising money for charities which I find quite satisfying.”

Like many bowling clubs throughout Scotland, the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of business affected many clubs bank balances. Thankfully for Baillieston BC having a long standing, dedicated and skilled treasurer like John ensured the club was able to navigate through a difficult couple of years relatively unscathed.

Now that the country has returned to a more familiar normality and members of Baillieston BC have been able to get back out on the green and enjoy socialising with one another, John’s next big project is overseeing the renovation of the clubs changing facilities. John spent most of his working life as a Chartered Civil Engineer, so he has been involved in the design and planning permission process throughout.

Providing an update on the latest developments, John commented: “Our existing changing facility needs modernisation and there was a desire within the club to upgrade the facilities.

“I was able to use my engineering background to design a new changing facility and take the project through the planning application to gain approval. Unfortunately, the construction and materials cost increases have halted progress so far.”

All of the selfless hard work and countless hours that John has put into supporting Baillieston BC over the years certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed or unappreciated by his fellow members at the club. Ryan Hicks, John’s son, has seen first hand his dads passion for the sport of bowls and dedication to the club and decided he wanted to help gain John recognition at a national level.

When asked what led to nominating his dad for a National Volunteer Award, Ryan said: ““I nominated John for the Bowls Scotland National Volunteer Award as appreciation for his hard work over the years and to give him recognition for his dedication to Baillieston Bowling Club over that time.

“He is a selfless individual who has spent countless hours doing work like the club accounts, running to the cash carry, working on the green and surrounding clubhouse and grounds. All the things that keep the club running but are often not seen by most people. It's not possible to say enough thanks for the work he has done over the years but hes definitely a worthy recipient and I thought the award nomination would go some way to acknowledging his efforts.

“Volunteers are crucial to ongoing survival of bowling clubs across the country and are intrinsically linked to the prosperity of the game. They are the lifeblood of the sport and without them we would see a decline, through fewer clubs and ultimately fewer people participating. They help maintain and grow our clubs, which arent just places to play the game but are hubs for the wider community. They also act as role models, providing encouragement and setting an example to the younger members of the bowling community.

“John has made an immeasurable difference Baillieston BC. He has been constant within the club for over 25 years providing stability and stewardship that has helped the club navigate many issues such as COVID-19. If there is an issue, he is always willing to help and find a solution. The club would be a poorer place without him.”

To John’s surprise, he was recently presented with his National Volunteer Award at the clubs 2023 finals day in September. Extremely humbled and proud to be presented his award alongside his sons after a recent health scare, John added: “The main reward for volunteering, from a personal perspective, is my contribution to club decisions and trying to make sure that we do the right thing for the benefit of the club and its members.

“It always amazes me the number of new applicants that we have on our waiting list. That alone suggests to me that we are doing something right.

“In my view, the desire to volunteer can only be done form a position of comfort and confidence. Volunteers who see activities or projects as a chore or too challenging tend to give up quickly. However, I would always thank them for their effort.

“I was totally surprised but very grateful to be presented with my National Volunteer Award. On reflection, this award is also recognition for all the members who have contributed to the club over the years.

Congratulations to John on behalf of everyone at Bowls Scotland for receiving his thoroughly deserved National Volunteer Award!

Applications for our next round of nominations close on Friday 8th March 2024. For more information or to nominate someone, please visit:   

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