A drive to recruit thousands of volunteers is under way in preparation for next year’s multi-sport European Championships in Glasgow.
At this inaugural event, Glasgow will host the European Championships of six major sports – aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing, triathlon and golf – from 2-12 August 2018, while Berlin hosts the European athletics from 7-12 August.
Applications for volunteering in Glasgow began on Monday, 27 March and will remain open until 31 July, 2017.
Volunteers (aged over 16) will fulfil numerous duties, from assisting with media operations, spectator and sport services, to cultural liaison, travel and transport.
The volunteer programme was officially launched at Kelvin Hall on 27 March, with guests from the Scottish government and Glasgow City Council – who are jointly funding the event – alongside members of the volunteering community.
Many of the venues used at the 2014 Commonwealth Games will host the 2018 event and Sanjeev Kohli – Glasgow-based comedian and volunteer ambassador – said he was looking forward to a rekindling of the spirit of 2014, both through athletes and volunteers.
“There is a real selflessness to the people in Glasgow and we never see anybody lost or in trouble without offering help,” he said. “I have no doubt those values will be reflected in our volunteers.
“I’ve been lucky enough to perform in front of Glasgow crowds and I can tell you the athletes are in for a treat. But just as important are the people behind the scenes welcoming visitors and making sure everything runs to plan.”
The recruitment campaign also leans on those with previous experience – ‘Volunteer Champions’ – who are helping to promote volunteering to those who may not have considered it before.
Izzy Conway from Parkhead, for example, began as a gamesmaker at the London 2012 Olympics, at Hampden Park’s football matches, and has since taken part at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2015 European Games in Azerbaijan and Glasgow’s Homeless World Cup last year.
“It’s an exhilarating and humbling experience,” she says. “That’s the joy of volunteering – networking and the opening of doors to exciting new opportunities. Who knows what’s around the corner?”
Volunteer champion Aaron Fernandez is looking forward to sampling the hype leading up to the Championships.
“When people become excited about a big event in Glasgow it makes you feel proud of your home,” said Fernandez, who has volunteered all over the city.
“I love the student life in Glasgow. Due to the close proximity between the University of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian University and the City of Glasgow College, the city is abuzz with life and you will never run out of interesting people to talk to.”
The Glasgow/Berlin 2018 European Championships will be shown live on the BBC, with additional coverage on the BBC Sport website.