And now for something completely different. Today’s Back on Track is less about becoming a lean, mean running machine (ha) and more about being a good citizen (of sorts) in a roundup of the last two weeks volunteering at the ICC Champions Trophy.
The Gamesmakers have a lot to answer for. Their enthusiasm, efficiency and general great attitude during London 2012 has meant other major sporting events in Britain want to follow suit and create their own volunteering legacy. The Champions Trophy led the way, as, although not being as high profile as the Olympics (what is?) it’s the first time since the games that the eyes of the world have been back on Britain. Happening in 3 different venues around England and Wales the Champions Trophy also needed something to create a bit of unity to the event. And thus, the Cricketeers were born.
In red jackets and shirts (and luckily our own trousers, not a one shape fits all – see, things could be learnt from London 2012) the Cricketeers have been at every match, volunteering in a huge range of roles. From helping the public get to their seats in one piece to checking the media suite has electricity and wifi, assessing just how many people you can fit in a photo booth before it breaks to making sure the entertainment drummers don’t dehydrate, Cricketeers are on the case. Some are seasoned sports volunteer vets, tackling the likes of London 2012 and Champions League finals before donning the red shirt, however some, like yours truly, are newbies just trying to earn our ‘Happy to Help’ stripes.
I’ve been based at the Oval, working at every game played at that ground and generally having an amazing time. The hours have been long and the coffee pretty awful, but I’ve had the opportunity to do some pretty awesome stuff that I definitely couldn’t ever do in the day job including writing scripts for the Youtube daily round up (see below for evidence), getting pitch access to make sure the entertainment goes off okay during drinks breaks and tea and saying hi to Ian Botham. Just to clarify, that last bit wasn’t part of the job description, just a stroke of luck.
It’s also been great to see the fans and how much they seem to appreciate the Cricketeers. Apart from being manhandled by a few male Indian fans (more on that in a different post me thinks) people have generally liked having the extra help and a friendly face/foam hand to help them out! The foam hand also proves very useful in crowd control with bands of merry fans as a nifty distraction tool.
Although the Champions Trophy is gone for good after Saturday, lets hope that the EBC and ICC carry on their volunteering scheme and that other international sporting events follow suit. It’s a huge task force to maneuver, but hopefully well worth the effort.
Here’s a video with a bit more info on the Cricketeers, what we’ve been up to and how we got there. If you don’t blink you’ll even see me in my very fleeting Youtube debut (i’m the one with the hand)