“Major sports events, like the IAAF World Championships and the World Para Athletics Championships, inspire and engage Londoners from all walks of life, and bring a real sense of pride to our city.”
London 2017 Ltd on Friday (9 December) started the process of interviewing more than 10,000 prospective volunteers for the IAAF World Championships London 2017 and World Para Athletics Championships. The interviews, which will be carried out with Team London, the Mayor of London’s volunteering programme, are expected to take three months and will take place at The Crystal in East London.
In total, around 4,000 volunteers will be chosen to act as ‘Runners’ for both championships and will carry out roles in nine different areas: event logistics, media and commercial, spectator services, sport and technical, sport presentation, team services, medical services, technology and VIP and protocol. Much like at London 2012, the selected volunteers will be the beating heart of the events, and provide invaluable support to organisers as London builds on the global reputation it established at London 2012 and the spirit of the Games five years ago.
In attendance on the day was Paralympian Dan Greaves who won a bronze medal in Rio in the discus F44, and British junior sprinting sensation Laviai Nielsen, who was on hand to talk to prospective Runners about her experience of being a volunteer at the London 2012 Games where she was kit box carrier for Jessica Ennis-Hill.
The Runners programme aspires to provide an exceptional volunteering programme following the success of the London 2012 Games Makers. The chosen candidates will provide an excellent level of customer service to all visitors, at the same time as being given the chance to learn and utilise new skills, build self-confidence and gain a once in a lifetime experience.
Successful candidates will be notified from March 2017, and will commit to a minimum of five shifts per Championships.
Cherry Alexander, Managing Director of London 2017 Ltd said: “As part of the interview day, our guests were taken through a one-on-one interview plus a series of group challenges in order for us to establish who would make a fantastic volunteer. We want a fantastic group of Runners who are passionate and exciting individuals, and who can really bring our major championships alive.
“Volunteers really are the lifeblood of our sport, and in many ways our Runners will be the true champions of next summer’s events. We are grateful to everyone who has applied to be a volunteer. Quite simply, major events would not function without their support and as we prepare to welcome people from all over the world to London, I know we’ll be exceptionally proud of our volunteer workforce. Our Games Makers at London 2012 were sensational, and that’s exactly what we want to achieve again.”
The volunteering programme will be led by Team London which has spearheaded the Ambassador Welcome programme every year since 2012, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors to the capital each summer.
Deputy Mayor for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement, Matthew Ryder, said: “Volunteering is a brilliant way to make a real difference in our great city. As well as building stronger communities and helping people to get to know and help their neighbours, it makes us a friendlier and more welcoming place to live in and visit. I’m delighted to see tens of thousands of people offering up their time to be part of next summer’s athletics events.
“Major sports events, like the IAAF World Championships and the World Para Athletics Championships, inspire and engage Londoners from all walks of life, and bring a real sense of pride to our city. I look forward to seeing volunteers out and about giving visitors a very warm welcome, ensuring everyone has an enjoyable time at the championships and makes the most of what the capital has to offer.”
Five-time Paralympic medalist Dan Greaves said: “I know firsthand what a difference volunteers make to major events. The energy they bring for every session, no matter what time of day it is, is always incredible and it really does enhance the experience of everybody who comes to watch the athletics.”
London 2012 volunteer and European Junior 400m gold medalist Laviai Nielsen added: “I have some wonderful memories of volunteering during 2012. You are right at the heart of the action, and it really was an honour to be in that position. Volunteering brings people of walks of life together and there’s an amazing team spirit that sees you pull together to help deliver the best event possible.”
The IAAF World Championships and the World Para Athletics Championships will bring together 3,300 world-class athletes from more than 200 countries, who will compete in 30 sessions across 20 amazing days. This is the first time that the World Para Athletics Championships and the IAAF World Championships will be hosted by the same city in the same summer. Tickets are now on sale at London 2017 website.