This forms part of a series of articles on the S4J. This is article 2 of the series.
One of the key aspects of the S4J is the heartfelt service we extend to athletes through S4J water-points. S4J ladies’ athletes captain Annelize Hietbrink wrote a fascinating article, published at this link on the S4J blog, about the work of a helper at a water-point.
Helpers at S4J water-points has handed hundreds of thousands of water saches to athletes at various water-points during the past few years. As Annelize wrote in her article:
“Put up tables, stack cups, pour cold drink into said cups; break big blocks of ice into plastic containers; cut open countless boxes of water sachets and throw them into the container. Ensure that all helpers know what to do, where to stand (out of athletes’ way!) etc.
Get to table, grab some water sachets (or 2 or 4, or on some cases 8!), maybe drink some Coke. Thank or don’t thank the WPH. May complain about water not being cold enough. Drop sachets in bin, next to bin, or in the vicinity of the water table. Carry on with race.”
To organize a water-point even requires far more organizing than for helpers on the day. Some of these tasks come to mind:
- Recruit a team of helpers for the day.
- Sort out all branded items like t-shirts, flags, gazebos.
- If you’re going to play music, equipment and music must be ready and fully charged.
- Hospitality arrangements for your team of helpers sorted: tea, coffee, milk, sugar, facility to boil water, rusks and so on.
- All needed hardware ready like hammers, cable ties, and side cutters to name a few.
- At S4J water-points, we always do a photo-shoot. This requires batteries fully loaded, lens cleaners, and momo-pod packed in.
- Wake up as early as 2:40. Be at the water-point at about 04:00 to receive among other, loads of water, Coke or similar drinks, tables, buckets, and ice packs.
- Set-up the hospitality area for your team of helpers.
- Start receiving athletes as they arrive. Ensure the team is well organized to serve athletes during the race. Clean up after the race.
- Pack up and go.
- Ensure equipment is sorted after the race. If it for example rain during the race
This is the team that helped at the recent S4J water-point at the PWC George Claassen Memorial Race. Here are some of the feedback received afterward:
- Pierre Engelbrecht: Great water point! Thanks everyone involved!
- Annemarie Breytenbach: Beste en vriendelike waterpunt. Julle is awesome. Dankie liewe Norman, altyd n glimlag en tyd vir n vinnig geselsie en Dan natuurlik die kameraman. What a boykie. Lovies 💕
- Belinda Hope: Awesome water point … thank you
- Thérèse Marie Jarvel Doman: Norman the waterpoint was awesome, thank you!!!
- Willem En Mari Malan: Dankie!!! Julle was die beste en vriendelikste en vrolikste waterpunt!!!!
- Phillip Du Toit: Julle was great, baie dankie. Eks trots om n S4J atleed te wees….
- Dokka Le Grange: Dankie julle almal waardeer julle. Dit was baie lekker Run gewees.
- Rosemary Brink Tonkin: Awesome support, thank you
- Cisca Louwrens: Pragtig, soos altyd!
- Dorothy Viviers: Baie mooi
- Hendrik Schoeman: Baie dankie vir die lekker water en gees
- Joubert Krugel: Thank you for your support. It’s much appreciated.