Tim Hooper – North West’s Volunteer of the Year
Sadly Tim Hooper died soon after his nomination for Volunteer of the Year. He is greatly missed by all his friends in rowing.
Tim Hooper came into rowing through his daughters, Elizabeth and Rachel, who were both members of Northwich Rowing Club. Even from the early days he was loading trailers, driving mini buses, helping out with timing at club time trials and picking up and carrying out other odd jobs that needed doing.
Once Tim’s daughters moved away from home he became even more involved in the sport when he trained to become an umpire and was nominated as the club safety adviser. He attended almost all of the regional events as an umpire and could be relied on come rain of shine. Over the years Tim held a number of posts, in particular at his club he was the head umpire for their heads and regatta. This meant anything from hours of phone calls, coordinating launches, umpires, safety issues, dealing with running an event whilst in the middle of a foot and mouth epidemic and developing a relationship with British Waterways to ensure the cooperation of all river users.
Tim was someone who could always be relied on to do the job he was tasked with in absolute detail. This was an invaluable trait in the coordination of regional safety in the North West. Having been in the post for a number of years he has ensured the smooth running of safety audits and attended numerous national meetings in London, contributing to the continual emphasis on safety to ensure the enjoyment of the sport. Tim always attended the National Championships with his wife Joyce and in 1998 he was asked to help out on the presentation raft. He recognised it was not the most organised of systems and took it upon himself to make things run as smoothly as possible. This led to him then becoming the ceremony coordinator of the event for a number of years which included trips to Nottingham to arrange medals, ensuring accurate records of winners and giving up most of July every year to ensure things ran smoothly.
On his retirement from the National Championships Committee his services were recognised by everyone who he had worked with. Tim never expected recognition for all he did for the sport. Nor did he make a fuss when he struggled on his own to do things when unable to get people to help.
Last year Tim became ill during the run up to Northwich Autumn head and it took much more than one person to take on the work that he usually carried out on his own. Safety and umpiring are never glamorous jobs but Tim was always committed to the work he did for his club, the North West and the ARA. Having never even rowed himself, his commitment to a sport he clearly loved was even more astounding.