I have been a volunteer since….. well a very long time ago. For over 30 years I have been a member of Lions International. This is the world’s biggest charity service organisation. But my sports-based volunteering started back in 2007. I was sitting in a friend’s house on holiday in the USA when it was announced that London had won the rights to stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games. At that point I knew I needed to be part of the Games. Since then I have not looked back. London 2012, World Rowing Cup 2013, two Special Olympic Summer Games, Tour de France are a few of the events I have been involved with. But volunteering for CP Sport has to be one of my favourite events.
Through SOGB I was made aware of the 2015 World Games, and that they were to be held in Nottingham. Little did I realise what I would end up doing and the impact it would have on me. I ended up with the role of “Joint Athletes Village Manager”. Wow what an experience, the friendship between athletes, coaches, officials and the University staff was something I had never seen anywhere else. Even the Aussies, who were getting hammered in the Ashes cricket, were a pleasure to be with. Long hours that week, but I would not swap it for the world.
So when I heard that the 2018 World Games would be in Spain I knew I had to be involved again. This time I was lucky enough to be directly supporting Team England, and what an amazing time was had by all. Again the athletes were amazing. The way they supported each other was truly inspirational. The swimmers even offered to be lifeguards at the hotel pool!
So when I’m asked “why do you give up all your holiday time to volunteer?”, I just tell them stories from my experiences or show them a photo.
Sitting on a beach with a book is not for me.