Throughout Volunteer Week 2017, Scottish Cycling will be showcasing some of the volunteers that work on cycling events across the country. There is more to cycling than getting on a bike and the fantastic work done by Scottish Cycling's 191 affiliated clubs and volunteers each and every week does not go unnoticed. We couldn't do any of it without you!
Name: Mark Durkin
Age: Nearly 40. (44 is nearly 40, right?)
Cycling Club: Middleden MTB Club and Filles A Velo CC
At the moment I am a Coach at Middleden and I'm also one of the comittee there. When Filles A Velo run sessions I also coach for them. I have also recently qualified as a Regional MTB Commissaire.
How long have you been volunteering in your role for?
Middleden all started back in 2011 and FAV was born off the back of the Scott Contessa Road Race Academy in 2013. My role as an Assistant Commissaire was over 2015 and 2016 and I qualified earlier in 2017.
How did you get into volunteering?
My role as a coach/leader started off in 2010 when I joined a club to meet up and ride with others around some new to me trails. It didn't take long before I was "persuaded" to help out with the groups of younger ones and from there it all grew arms and legs. I took a First Aid course, passed my TCL, became a GO MTB Instructor and then started up Middleden MTB Club with Adam Gaunt and Calum Mackintosh in 2011. In early 2012 I passed my L2 UKCC and then in 2013 I passed the MTB DSU. I've also attended a DMBiS Event Organisers course and have put on some fairly decent kids Dirt Crits with Middleden. I'm not quite sure why I decided to go on the Commissaire training course but I got myself a free lunch out of it so that was good!
What are the benefits of volunteering?
With having a lot of interest in all types of cycling but not the commitment, ability or fitness to be any good at any of it as an athlete, I find that being a volunteer in any of my roles keeps me involved in a sport I love.
What has been your most memorable volunteering experience in cycling?
That has to be being a "Clydesider" at Glasgow 2014. Being behind the scenes at such a big event was mind blowing(and also very hard work). I was lucky to be involved at the Velodrome, Cathkin Braes, the Time Trials and the Road Races. Standing in the woods at Beecraigs Country Park, dodging rain showers and wearing a midge net as a Commissaire at a youth event comes a close second.
Describe the perfect volunteer (without describing yourself!)
It doesn't take much to be a volunteer. All you need is a bit of spare time, enthusiasm for a sport you may already love or it may all be new to you and probably most importantly, be reliable. Being perfect will come with time and experience.
Advise someone who might want to volunteer in cycling.
Give it a go! Why wouldn't you? Bikes are great and so are the people who ride them!