The London Track World Cup Legacy project is providing a fantastic opportunity for 14 to 18-year-olds to put their volunteering skills into practice. The project aims to establish a youth track league at the Lee Valley VeloPark, the iconic venue from London 2012, which is run by young people for young people.
As part of the project, Rebecca Maynard – Young Volunteer, National Youth Forum representative and member of Welwyn Wheelers Go-Ride Club – had the opportunity to volunteer at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup. Here, Rebecca shares her experience with us.
The second round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup was held at Lee Valley VeloPark from 5-7 December and I was lucky enough to volunteer at this high profile international event.
I was selected to be the results assistant, which was based in the track centre and provided me with the opportunity to gain an insight into the running of a world class event, whilst also allowing me to see world-class athletes such as Laura Trott, Anna Meares, Ed Clancy and Robert Forstemann, alongside other VIPs, press and officials.
As results assistant, I was responsible for distributing the start lists and results to the teams, officials and media. Once we had acquired the official results from the head commissaire, we had to photocopy each piece of paper 80 or more times and staple the sheets together, so that all the information was in one place.
The results were then distributed into the pigeon holes of each of the 53 teams, officials and commissaries. Once we had distributed the results in the track centre, we then had to take the results up to the media. This required a dash up two flights of stairs, which took us all the way to the top of the velodrome and into the Sky box before providing the outside broadcasters with the results.
At times, we were flooded with information that we needed to get out to everyone and had to resort to ordering them on the floor in order to prioritise.
The event itself was run smoothly and efficiently, with races on the track starting soon after the previous one had finished. I looked on as race after race, the judges flawlessly worked out who had broken the rules and who had won, even when it was really tight on the line.
Whilst volunteering, I got to meet some amazing people and watch some really exciting racing. As ever, the Great Britain Cycling Team did fantastically, with both well-known names and fresh new faces making an appearance on the podium, showcasing why we are a force to be reckoned with. For me, it was the new faces that caught my eye as I soon realised that I had heard most of the names before, and not because of their world status, but because they had started as youth riders on the Go-Ride programme.
I had an amazing experience volunteering at the Track World Cup and although it was hard work, it was so much fun. I was lucky to be helping at such a prestigious event and I will remember it for a really long time. However I was not just chosen at random to get my place on the team, I was proactive in securing this volunteer role and asked if I could, knowing there was a possibility that the answer may be no.
I have only been volunteering for a year and a half since I joined British Cycling’s Cycling Award for Young Volunteers programme, and yet I have been at some incredible events, as I have put myself forward for all the volunteering opportunities available. If any volunteer likes the sound of helping out at large events, then that’s all they need to do. Look out for these events and ask if you are eligible to volunteer at it – even if they do say it’s not possible on that occasion, you can always ask why so that you can go away and work on it for the next one.
British Cycling’s Cycling Award for Young Volunteers trains young people to get involved with volunteering roles within cycle sport, helping to develop communication and leadership skills. To find out more, click here.