After a breath-taking weekend of action at Echo Arena, where a record-breaking number of people were in attendance, the 2016 British Championships have been hailed as a huge success both on and off the floor.
Over 14,000 fans packed out the arena over the three days of competition, cheering on Britain’s finest as they performed on home soil for the final time before the European Championships and then the Olympics in Rio.
In order for the event to take place, working hard behind the scenes were the event volunteers of which there were more than ever.
Over 60 volunteers were involved each day, with their duties ranging from organising accreditation, filming on the competition floor, supplying drinks and refreshments, handing out programmes and being in the warm up hall before the live gymnastics began.
Geoff Grant, Volunteering Support and Development Manager at British Gymnastics, was delighted with the dedication that was shown by each individual volunteer: “The volunteers are great to work with, and they are very appreciative of the opportunity.
“Whilst it isn’t possible to see too much of the event due to the nature of volunteer roles there is a great feeling of being connected to the event and to the fans who are attending.”
In the space of just 12 months, the number of people attending the British Championships has risen by nearly 100%. With such a huge increase in those interested in seeing the best gymnasts in Britain, more volunteers were required to make the event such a success.
Alice Hathaway, 16, from Leeds, has volunteered at the British Championships each year since 2014 and said: “It’s been great meeting the other volunteers this year. They’ve been really nice, and I’ve made plenty of new friends.”
Joanna Stephenson, 17, also from Leeds, is hoping to forge a career in events and says volunteering this weekend has given her a great idea of what big events are all about: “It’s a really good starting point if you want to get involved in events. You get to see what goes on behind the scenes and how many people are part of it.”
As an added bonus, each volunteer received a ‘goody bag’ following the event, which included a signed card from members of the GB elite team, thanking them for their work over the weekend.
If you are interested in being a part of future events, email your details to [email protected].