Volunteer and Student Council Coordinator Suzie Hodges

 

Name: Suzie Hodges
City: SeattleSuzie Hodges
Years involved: 7

Describe your volunteer service:
I have been volunteering with the Washington Student Cycling League since it began. I started the first season helping out at the registration table, and from there I moved up to coordinating registration. One year I did both registration and volunteer coordinator. Now I am the volunteer coordinator for the League and am helping start the student council.

Why are you volunteering?
At first I started to volunteer because my friend was volunteering, and that’s how I got to know Lisa. Now I volunteer because I fully support the vision and mission of the League to develop leadership, confidence, and stewardship through one of my favorite sports. I would also like to see more riders of color in the League and am hoping to help recruit a more diverse group of racers and coaches in the future.

What do you like best about it?
I love being at the finish line and seeing all the smiling faces. The students work so hard to participate on race day and to see the pure joy mountain bike brings to our youth is the highlight of race day.

What’s the hardest or most challenging part about it?
Sometimes getting enough volunteers signed up prior to race day can be challenging. However, people usually step up on race day and we end up with all we need.

What’s been an inspiring moment for you?
When you sit by the first aid tent all day for every race, each year, you see a lot of banged up bodies and souls. I am always inspired by the way the kids get back up and never quit.

How have you seen the League’s mission fulfilled through your work?
Developing and discovering a love for the sport is part of the mission of the League. Volunteers are great models in these areas because when they show up to help as sweeps, marshals, or with course set up they show the kids how much work is involved in getting the day ready. Through the dedication and hard work of our volunteers, racers see so many ways to be involved in mountain biking, how it can be a lifelong passion and how community is built around the sport.

Why do you think this program is important for students?
So many important life skills are involved in practicing a sport. Not just the power and importance of exercise and nutrition, but also goal setting, time management, collaboration, and leadership.

How has volunteering impacted you?
I truly love volunteering for the League and each year for four to five months I am reminded of the motivation and spirit of our youth. I am inspired by their excitement for life, enthusiasm for racing and dedication to their teammates and coaches.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming a volunteer?
Just do it! It will be the best day!

What’s one word that describes your experience with the League?
Inspiring