Sporting stars drive push for 13,000 volunteers at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Paralympic swimming legend Ellie Simmonds cleans up canals while Galal Yafai and Heather Fisher train with youngsters as trio push for 13,000 volunteers to sign up for 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games

  • Birmingham is set to play host to the Commonwealth Games next summer 
  • It will be the biggest sporting event in the UK since the 2012 London Olympics
  • A trio of sporting stars are pushing for volunteers to sign up for next year 

Birmingham has started a push to find more than 13,000 volunteers ahead of the Commonwealth Games which will take place in the city in 2022. 

Paralympic swimming legend Ellie Simmonds, rugby sevens player Heather Fisher and boxer Galal Yafai, took time out of their training schedules to give back and volunteer, trying out some of the tasks that the ‘Commonwealth Collective’ might typically handle.

The Games will be the largest sporting and cultural event ever to be held in the West Midlands, and the biggest in the United Kingdom since the 2012 London Olympics. 

Birmingham is over one year away from hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Birmingham is over one year away from hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Ellie Simmonds is among the stars to push for volunteers to step up for next year's Games

Ellie Simmonds is among the stars to push for volunteers to step up for next year's Games

Ellie Simmonds is among the stars to push for volunteers to step up for next year’s Games

Simmonds who is a board member for Birmingham 2022, spent a day cleaning up canals in nearby Walsall with litter picking charity ‘World Against Single Use Plastic’ (WASUP).

The five-time Paralympic gold medalist said:  ‘Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Commonwealth Games, the unsung heroes that allow us as athletes to succeed.

‘Volunteering at WASUP was a fantastic way for me to give back to my local community in Walsall and I hope it inspires others to do the same. 

‘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.’ 

Commonwealth boxing champion Galal Yafai meanwhile spent the day disguised as a volunteer at the 5UP community boxing gym in Handsworth just outside Birmingham.

The Birmingham born boxer helped with tasks to prepare the gym before surprising a young group of aspiring boxers with a masterclass.

While Team England rugby sevens legend Heather Fisher spent the day at Moseley Rugby Club, helping to set up a training session before giving out some coaching tips.  

Rugby sevens star Heather Fisher set up a training session at Moseley Rugby Club

Rugby sevens star Heather Fisher set up a training session at Moseley Rugby Club

Rugby sevens star Heather Fisher set up a training session at Moseley Rugby Club

The majority of volunteer roles don’t need any formal experience or qualifications, with full training provided. 

Roles include drivers, first aiders, meet and greeters, venue preppers, kit carriers and courtside assistants.

Interested applicants must be aged 18 by January 1, 2022, and can select preferred areas of interest which include Event Services, Accreditation, Transport, Sport and Media. 

A young volunteer programme for 14-17 year olds will begin recruitment in the autumn. 

Around 25,000 shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview at the Library of Birmingham between September and December 2021, with successful volunteers notified in January 2022. 

Commonwealth champion Galal Yafai volunteered at a community boxing gym in Handsworth

Commonwealth champion Galal Yafai volunteered at a community boxing gym in Handsworth

Commonwealth champion Galal Yafai volunteered at a community boxing gym in Handsworth

 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.’

To apply to be a volunteer and find out more, visit www.birmingham2022.com.

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