London 2017 volunteer programme launched

Paralympic gold medallist, Richard Whitehead calls on British public to be the heart of London 2017 as organisers launch volunteering programme. 28 Jun 2016
Two athletes cleaning the sand pit

Dina Asher-Smith and Richard Whitehead ask people to apply to be a 'Runner' at the World ParaAthletics Championships and IAAF World Championships in London, 2017

ⒸLondon 2017
By London 2017

“British Sport’s volunteers are second to none; always full of enthusiasm and fun, with a sense of professionalism, that makes them the envy of the world.”

The London 2017 Organising Committee on Tuesday (28 June) launched its search for ‘Runners’ – the volunteer programme for the World ParaAthletics Championships and IAAF World Championships.

Up to 4,000 volunteers will be at the heart of the Championships, helping to deliver the event in The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and across London.

It is anticipated that up to half of the ‘Runners’ will be from the grassroots of athletics across the UK. Others are invited through a national campaign, with the aim of retaining them in the grassroots of the sport beyond 2017 as part of the Championship’s legacy.

Recruitment will begin on 28 June through an online application process. Members of athletics clubs and the general public can register their interest in becoming a ‘Runner’ here and details of the application form will be sent in early Autumn 2016.

Selection centres will take place before the end of 2016, with successful ‘Runners’ confirmed in early 2017.

Volunteers will play a key role in the running of the 20 days of the Championships with a range of roles including transport, way-finding, meet and greet and accreditation.

Dina Asher-Smith volunteered at the London 2012 Olympic Games and was a ‘kit carrier’ in The Stadium for a number of top athletes. She said: “The athletes at London 2017 will produce incredible moments which will last a lifetime – but it is the volunteers who will make the event feel truly special. At the London Olympics, Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup, it was the volunteers who helped create the atmosphere to make those events really great. They are the best of Britain – and we want you to come forward and be at the heart of making London 2017 the very best event yet.”

Asher-Smith added: “I volunteered at the London Olympic Games and it was an amazing experience. It was magical to be part of the whole occasion. I would say to everyone that they should get involved in London 2017 because it will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life.”

The IAAF World Championships and World ParaAthletics Championships will be held in the same city in the same year for the first time ever and will be the biggest celebration of athletics since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Richard Whitehead, the reigning Paralympic, World and European 200m T42 Champion, believes that volunteers are at the heart of any successful sporting event.

“In 2012, the Games Makers were instrumental in creating the incredible atmosphere at the Paralympic Games. Their sense of fun and level of professionalism made the event come alive in a way that had never been seen before. It gave such a positive endorsement for Paralympic sport on a global platform and I am both grateful to and passionate about supporting the volunteer programme.”

Cherry Alexander, Managing Director, London 2017 said: “Everyone remembers the ‘Games Makers’ at London 2012. They were brilliant. They added so much to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and we want to see that spirit recaptured at London 2017. There are many brilliant people all over the UK who make sport work on the ground every day. We want them to come forward to be part of this amazing event. The volunteers will be one of the reasons why this will be the best ever world championships.”

Xavier Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer of the International Paralympic Committee, said: “I am thrilled the 2017 World ParaAthletics Championships are coming to London. The London 2012 Paralympic Games gave British sport fans so many amazing and memorable sporting moments, and the volunteers played an invaluable role within this. British Sport’s volunteers are second to none; always full of enthusiasm and fun, with a sense of professionalism, that makes them the envy of the world.”

The London 2017 Volunteer Programme, ‘Runners’, is being delivered in partnership by London 2017 and by Team London, the Mayor of London’s volunteering programme. Team London built on the fantastic movement of volunteering delivered by the 2012 Games, creating programmes that have engaged nearly one million Londoners and led London to become European Volunteering Capital 2016.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Volunteering is a wonderful and rewarding 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 that Team London will be leading the way in giving our London 2017 visitors a very warm welcome, and ensuring everyone has an enjoyable time at the games and makes the most of what the capital has to offer.”

To register to become a Runner please click here.

The 2017 World Para Athletics Championships will take place between 14-23 July.