With the opportunity to learn new events management knowledge, watch high quality sporting performances and gain great experience for your CV, helping at the School Games is the perfect opportunity.

We spoke to Alastair, who had previously competed in the School Games before volunteering in 2016 and 2017.

What was your experience like competing?

I took part in the UK School Games in 2011, in Sheffield. As a swimmer we always went away as a team but this was my first experience of a multi-sport event, so that integration with other athletes was really cool. It was probably the stand-out memory from my swimming career, the organisers and volunteers pulled out all the stops to make it really feel like a mini-Olympics. The bundles of free kit definitely helped too!

How did the School Games help you in your swim career?

It definitely gave me the confidence in my ability moving forward in my career. I was competing for my country against the best swimmers in the UK, so it gave me the belief that what I was doing was working. The experience of School Games allowed me to push for more, it's every athletes dream to compete in the Olympics and this event gives you the chance to get a feel for what it really could be like competing for Team GB.

Has it changed much? 

It's a very similar event now.  The major difference is that now there's a real push on athlete welfare and development, which is really helpful for athletes, as it was mainly about winning when I competed.

Why is the School Games important to young athletes?

It gives them a feel for what elite sport is really like, it really is a unique experience that they will not get, unless they go on to compete in Commonwealth games or the Olympics.  For many it is the biggest thing they will achieve in their career.

What made you want to volunteer at the School Games?

I volunteer regularly at sporting events so with this being such a large event, with accommodation available, as well as the fact that I had a history at the School Games, made it a no brainer. It was good to see the event from a different perspective!

What role did you do and what sport was it involved with?

I have volunteered at Judo, Cycling and Rugby 7s over the 2016 and 2017 games. It was so great to be able to see different sports and learn more about disciplines that I hadn’t been involved with before.

What were your favourite experiences while volunteering?

Meeting the people volunteering alongside you is always great; there’s a real mix of young, old, experienced and new people. Whatever role I’ve been in, I’ve ended up both enjoying my time and feeling like I’ve made a difference!

You’re always learning and developing your skills… so it looks great on your CV!

You can still apply to volunteer at the School Games National Finals 2018, so if you are interested you can find out more information on our Volunteers page.