Matt Jarvis opens new all weather pitch: Photograph courtesy of The Surrey Advertiser – by Grahame Larter
London Olympics, Glasgow Commonwealth Games and parkrun: World class and grass-roots and all shining examples of what can be achieved by a well-organised volunteer workforce. I’ve been lucky enough to have been a London 2012 Games Maker and a Glasgow “Clyde-sider” – very special experiences for any sport volunteer. But community and inclusive sport matters most to to me and I helped set up, and am now Event Director for Guildford parkrun, UK. The parkrun system enables volunteers to organise free, timed 5k runs with 70,000+ runners and 4000 volunteers now involved each week. I represent parkrun event directors on the UK Members Board. I also led the team that funded and built a school and community all-weather pitch.
I am currently the Volunteer Manager for the World Orienteering Championships which are being held in Scotland in 2015. Take a look at the opportunities if you want to apply to be involved. And part of the team that manages the finish of the Virgin London Marathon each year.
Having worked with volunteers for the last 20 years, in sport, publishing and education, I’ve managed teams of volunteers in the UK and abroad and know first-hand what it is like to be a volunteer. “I am fortunate to work with others to make what we believe in happen.”
This blog is for volunteers, for sports organisations looking for volunteers and for people who are nervous about volunteering for anything. It is an attempt to pass on some of the wisdom picked up by working with volunteers – and to share the good and bad bits of what it feels like to be a volunteer.