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Pitching in at Lord's

Posted in Volunteering

My World Twenty20 journey began when I was looking for information on tickets for the tournament. I came across a link for volunteers needed for the tournament. I was pretty surprised because I wasn’t aware that the ECB usually recruit volunteers for their tournaments and events, but I thought this was a really positive move by the sport.

Volunteers can bring so much to any sport - enthusiasm, creativity, passion to make the event a success and motivation to get involved in just about any area of an event.

I signed myself up because I’m a fan of cricket and wanted to see the development of ideas and innovative thinking in sport. I also just wanted to help out.

I signed up to help at Lord’s. We were asked to attend a training day in May at our specified venues where we had a tour of the ground, indoor cricket school and the changing rooms, where we could see the long list of cricketing greats up on the wall.

I was assigned to being part of the accreditation team which meant making sure staff, players, volunteers, team managers, commentators etc had registered and received their security passes.

Twenty20 Volunteers 3

The volunteers take in the applause during their lap of honour during finals day at the ICC World Twenty20

On the day of the opening ceremony, we signed in, collected our own accreditation passes and went to the volunteer area in the indoor school where we picked up our uniforms and were assigned our duties.

These included handing out the ‘four’ and ‘six’ signs as well as the bangers (the inflatable tubes which make some ridiculously loud noises) and then headed up to St John’s Wood Tube Station to give directions to all the excited fans.

The opening game was England v Holland so the ground was streaming with flashes of orange. Sadly the rain meant it was all hands on deck, moving all the stands for the dancers and the main act and making sure everything was put away smoothly.

After all that excitement, I was asked if I would help make sure everything was running smoothly with the volunteers down near the dug outs. This was great as it meant we were surrounded by all the action on and off the pitch.

It was a fantastic game, except for the constant threat of rain from the ever looming dark clouds above the ground. When the showers did begin, the dancers weren’t too keen to jump about on a slippery stage with fear of slipping. So, we rolled up our sleeves and tried our best to keep the stages dry.

The rest of the first day went pretty smoothly, except for England not getting the start they wanted, but behind the scenes, things went very well.

I was back up at Lord’s for the closing ceremony. The ECB’s ‘Be Involved’ team got us all together to say thanks for all the effort we had put in. We were also very kindly given tickets for the final which was fantastic.

My duty for the day was to stand pitchside and call up to the DJ booth with the numbers of the in-going batsmen for the women’s final between England and New Zealand. I did also get involved with helping the New Zealand team liaison officer get drinks for the players.

We then made our way to the Nursery Ground where we were then ushered onto the actual Lord’s main pitch where we were invited to do a lap of honour. The volunteers loved this and it made me start thinking a lot about the 2012 Olympics and how all the volunteers will be doing something similar.

As a round up of my experience, it was great - very professional, well organised with varied roles. I met lots of interesting people, learnt a lot about everything that goes on behind the scenes of an international event and would definitely put myself forward to volunteer for the ECB again in the future.

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