WEST WORCESTERSHIRE MP Harriett Baldwin is urging local people to be a part of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Ms Baldwin said: “It is widely acknowledged that the London Olympic and Paralympic Games were made significantly better by the amazing army of volunteers and I know of many local people who took part in those games and took those skills into the next chapter of their working lives.
“I am sure that this will appeal to people of all ages but I hope young people will, in particular, see this as a way to learn new skills as well as taking part in a fabulous international sporting event.
“I hope people will be inspired to take part and that some of the 13,000 helpers will come from West Worcestershire, helping to make the Commonwealth Games 2022 a stunning success.”
Applications have opened today to find 13,000 volunteers for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Those chosen will form the ‘Commonwealth Collective’ and be based across the region during next year’s event.
The launch of the scheme has been celebrated by elite athletes Ellie Simmonds, Heather Fisher and Galal Yafai who have been surprising grassroots sports clubs across the West Midlands.
The volunteers will be the public faces of Birmingham 2022 and represent the heart and soul of the games experience for athletes, officials, spectators and a global audience on 1billion.
Applicants must be aged 18 by January 1 next year and can select preferred areas of interest which include Event Services, Accreditation, Transport, Sport and Media.
A young volunteer programme for 14 to 17-year-olds will start recruiting in the autumn.
There will be 25,000 shortlisted applicants invited to an interview at the Volunteer Selection Centre between September and December 2021, which will be held at the Library of Birmingham. Successful volunteers will be notified with a role offer from January 2022.
The majority of volunteer roles do not need any formal experience or qualifications, with full training provided.
Roles include drivers, first aiders, meet and greeters, venue preppers, kit carriers, courtside assistants, and everything in between to help the games run smoothly and create a unique experience right across the region.
The 13,000 volunteers who form the Commonwealth Collective will receive approximately 250,000 hours of training and complete one million hours of volunteer time.
Five-time Paralympic swimming champion and Birmingham 2022 board member Ellie said: “Volunteering at Birmingham 2022 will be a unique opportunity to contribute to the community and experience a home Games, so I’d encourage people of the West Midlands to submit an application.
“Even my parents and my coach are going to apply.”
John Crabtree, Birmingham 2022 chairman, said: “The pandemic has seen so many wonderful examples of people coming together to support their neighbours and each other and has served to underline what we have always known – that we are stronger together.
“We will now see this first-hand at Birmingham 2022 with the formidable Commonwealth Collective.
“Our volunteers will be part of something special and the Collective will celebrate the unique qualities of each and every one of them. We know that together the Collective will be a shining example of the best of the human spirit.”
Minister for Sport and Tourism, Nigel Huddleston, added: “Volunteers are the backbone of any great Games, and the Commonwealth Collective will be no different.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity for people across the UK to play a part in the biggest sporting and cultural event ever to be held in the West Midlands.
“As the faces of Birmingham 2022, this team of volunteers will represent the very best of the region, the country and the modern Commonwealth.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said: ““This is an incredible opportunity for residents across the West Midlands, and in particular young people, to get involved in the Commonwealth Games.
“We know these Games are going to be a once-in-a-generation moment for our region, so we must get as many people as possible involved.
“Everyone who volunteers will be given extensive training, helping them gain key skills to help with future job prospects.
“We are also of course using the Games to provide extensive employment opportunities alongside the volunteering roles.”
Anyone wanting to apply should visit birmingham2022.com.
Applications will open tomorrow (Tuesday, June 1) and local people can find out more by visiting the games website here.