The Join In blog: Category "Breaking news"

It was good to meet up with some familiar faces

Volunteers Interviewing Volunteers

Sports events would struggle to take place if it wasn’t for volunteers. And large scale events also sometimes need volunteers to actually help interview, place and support other volunteers, when a large number are needed. The role for this type of volunteer is commonly referred to as a Selection Event Volunteer (SEV).

A good example of this role in action is by one of our Join In Local Leaders, Anna Barrett. She talks below about the role she played in the interview process for anyone who wanted to be a “Runner” at the World Athletics Championships in London this summer.

Being a SEV

So, what is a SEV?  Simply put – it is a “Selection Event Volunteer”.  But what do they do and how do you become one?  Anyone who has volunteered at a major event knows that part of the application process is the “interview” …but what about the people who ask the questions?

What made you decide to become a Selection Event Volunteer?

I have done a fair bit of interviewing at work, either for my own team or for Graduate assessment centres, and I was a SEV for London2012. I thoroughly enjoyed the role and meeting all the potential volunteers, finding out their stories and why they wanted to volunteer. I still remember some of the facts & figures … 250,000 people applied for 75,000 roles and the intention was to interview 125,000 +.  A small army would be required over a period of a year or so to do all those interviews.  It was an amazing year & I felt even better when all those fantastic Games Makers got their deserved praise and accolades.

Since then, I have done the for 2015 Rugby World Cup (although it was called a VIP – Volunteer Interview Program) and now I am continuing as a SEV for the World Athletic Championships this summer in London. This event is slightly smaller than the Olympic and Paralympic Games (only 15,000 applications, 10,000 interviewees for 4,000 Volunteer “Runner” roles) but nevertheless, the SEV role is just as important to the event and to the organisers.

Why?  Firstly, it helps to make sure the right people are recruited and secondly, it helps engage with the potential volunteer workforce and helps them to get excited about coming to work at the event.  A two way street – just like any employer/ employee relationship should be.

How did you find out about the role?

I found out about this SEV role through Join In and the World Athletic Championship website.  I saw that the Volunteer Runners program had an interview stage, so I asked around.  I then saw that Team London had advertised – so it pays to keep your sources open.

How were you selected?

All potential SEV’s had to complete an application form, asking about our experience with interviewing and volunteering.  They were looking for volunteers who have human resources experience or have held a recruitment role and have a clear understanding of a fair and equal interview process. It was also important to be a confident communicator who enjoys interviewing for a large scale major event.  After the application stage, we had a telephone interview which covered more background about the role and asked some questions about my interviewing experience and other questions relevant to the role.

What sort of training did you have to undertake?

After getting the good news I was successful in getting the role, I then attended a training session.  This was an opportunity to learn more about the role, what the process was going to be (i.e. some group activities and the interview questions) and how I was expected to rate the behaviours and answers against the agreed competencies.  It was also good to meet up with some of your fellow SEVs and in some cases meet up with old friends & familiar faces!

Are you enjoying the role?

I enjoy the SEV role and I usually spring out of bed on my shift days, even though I know it is going to be a full-on, busy day. It is very rewarding.  In a way, it is inspiring meeting so many enthusiastic, willing, wonderful people.  It makes you feel quite good about the world, even though some of the outside news and weather might be a bit gloomy!

What is the best part of it?

The people, the people and the people!  Also, the feeling of satisfaction and knowing you are helping the event to be a success. It is a great way to contribute to the event at an early stage, it makes you feel part of it and I am happy to be able to be a part of it in this way.

Every shift is different as well.  For the upcoming World Athletics this summer, I will get to do more than just the interviews. I will also help with the Meet & Greet, Passport scan, Check-in, Photo station and the Group assessment activities –  so there is real variety. The other volunteers come from a range of back grounds and with a lot of different interests too, so when there is a break, is it great to chat and make new friends.

What is the furthest a volunteer that you have interviewed has travelled from for their interview?

People have come from all over the UK to be interviewed.  I have even interviewed people from Germany and Italy who are keen to get involved and support their sport of athletics. I have also heard of people coming from Spain, Croatia and The Netherlands for their interviews.

Are you also applying to be a Runner?

I have also applied to be a Runner as I think it a great opportunity to be involved in a major sporting event and to help make the event a success for athletes and spectators alike. I am really proud to be able to give something back to sport and to the community.

What type of role are you hoping for if you are selected?

I would be happy to do most of the roles, but I would love a role in the Team Services area, something “back office” but that is closely involved with making sure the event runs smoothly for the athletes and helps them perform their best, enjoy the event and even London.

Fingers will be crossed when the role offers are sent out in March and I will be hoping to get the good news.  It will be hard not looking for an email every hour once news of the first offers have gone out.

Recent News

I was there …..

An army of volunteers is needed to make any event run smoothly – particularly a major event. Below are some … Continued

From the stars on the BBC Sports Personality red carpet to the clubs across the UK, #BigThankYou rang out!
From the stars on the BBC Sports Personality red carpet to the clubs across the UK, #BigThankYou rang out!

Another year, another brilliant #BigThankYou!

Andy Murray wasn’t the only winner on Sunday night. As the nation voted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, thousands of you also helped create the UK’s biggest celebration of sports volunteers.

We are a little stunned to say that – thanks to you – #BigThankYou trended on Twitter for the third year in a row.

From Team GB stars calling up volunteers from the red carpet, to local sports and recreation clubs giving their thanks on social media, it was an incredible evening.

Below you can see our highlights and films from another special evening, all in support of volunteers.

Ryan Giggs makes his #BigThankYou call

Ryan Giggs makes his #BigThankYou call.

L-R: Sisters Ellie and Becky Downie with Claudia Fragapane

L-R: Sisters Ellie and Becky Downie with fellow gymnast Claudia Fragapane.

Swimmer Mark Foster almost couldn't fit in the iconic golden phone box

Swimmer Mark Foster almost couldn’t fit inside the iconic golden phone box.

Plus, the sport sector supported the campaign:

So many clubs got involved too, sharing their thanks for the volunteers that keep them going:


Football clubs across the UK rely on volunteers


Scropton RDA Centre celebrates its volunteers


An overwhelming #BigThankYou for one volunteer

And a final #BigThankYou from all of us at Join In, we couldn’t do it without you!



Volunteers being thanked
Let's make the Big Thank You even bigger this year!

#BigThankYou toolkit for clubs and groups

If you’re a member of a community sport, recreation or physical activity group that relies on volunteers, then here’s your chance to be part of the UK’s biggest thank you to the people who make them tick

On the weekend of 17-18 December 2016, we’re asking you to be part of #BigThankYou. There are no limits to how you can get involved, but here are some suggestions to get you started:

Create a #BigThankYou moment

We know clubs and groups are busy and many are already run by tireless volunteers. So a simple way to help retain your volunteers is a Big Thank You moment in an existing session.


Join In is back on the red carpet with BBC Get Inspired for the #BigThankYou

Join In The Big Thank You 2016

Sports volunteers in the spotlight at BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016!

We are thrilled to announce the launch of #BigThankYou – the UK’s biggest celebration of sports volunteers.

On the weekend of 17-18 December 2016, sports and recreation clubs from around the UK will be sending, shouting, tweeting and posting their photos and thanks to the amazing volunteers that make sport happen in all of our communities. We need you to be part of it – so save the date!

On Sunday 18 December, the celebration will culminate on the red carpet at BBC Sports Personality of the Year in Birmingham – when celebrities and athletes will surprise a host of nominated volunteers with a call to say a #BigThankYou.

Last year’s star callers included tennis world number one Andy Murray, British golfer Rory McIlroy, international rugby hero Dan Carter, Paralympic tennis star Jordanne Wiley and Olympic gold medallists, Max Whitlock, Dina Asher-Smith and Greg Rutherford.


Adam Peaty making a Big Thank You call to a volunteer
Adam Peaty makes a call to a very happy volunteer at BBC Sports Personality 2015

Nominate a volunteer for a #BigThankYou call

Join In and BBC Get Inspired are back on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year red carpet for the #BigThankYou to sports volunteers.

If you know someone who keeps your clubs ticking over by lending a hand, nominate them below – and be in with a chance of receiving a phone call from a sports star at the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year in Birmingham.

By completing this form you agree to the #BigThankYou Terms and Conditions.


Over 2,500 clubs took part in I Am Team GB, from Devon to Scotland.
Over 2,500 clubs took part in I Am Team GB, from Devon to Scotland.

The nation’s BIGGEST EVER sports day!

What. A. Day!

From the beach of Hope Cove in Devon to the Copper Box Arena in London, from astronaut Tim Peake in Houston to the riverside in Reading, and from the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow to Greg Rutherford’s backyard, Team GB athletes and thousands (and thousands) of the Great British public shouted ‘I Am Team GB!’

It all kicked off with ITV switching off all seven of it’s channels for an hour, asking the nation to get out and get active. Star of Rio 2016 Max Whitlock did the honours…


Be part of the team – say you're #IAmTeamGB today!
Be part of the team – say you're #IAmTeamGB today!

Join the team!

On Saturday 27 August, we’re teaming up with our returning lottery-funded Olympic heroes to create the nation’s biggest ever sports day, I Am Team GB – and you’re invited!

Brought to you by The National Lottery and ITV, there will be lots of great ways to get involved, including thousands of fun, free events across the country.


Be in with a chance of boosting your club by £250 – enter today
Be in with a chance of boosting your club by £250 – enter today

Be part of I Am Team GB and win £250 for your club

Need another reason to join I Am Team GB? Well here it is…

I Am Team GB is inviting sports clubs and events to open their doors to the public on Saturday 27 August, as part of the nation’s biggest ever sports day – and we want you to be part of the action.

To celebrate this event, ITV are offering sports clubs and groups the chance to win £250 worth of vouchers to purchase kit or equipment.

Your sports club could be one of 10 lucky winners to bag this £250 prize to boost your team. So whether you’re in need of swimsuits for your synchro team, wickets for your cricket club or jerseys for your judo group, sign your club up to I Am Team GB for your chance to win.

Create a event page today

By creating an I Am Team GB event on the Join In website your club or group will be entered into the competition to win £250 worth of vouchers for your club or group. See full terms and conditions here.



Perri Shakes-Drayton talks about being part of I Am Team GB
Perri Shakes-Drayton talks about being part of I Am Team GB

Top 5 reasons to be part of the nation’s biggest sports day

Wondering what all the fuss is about I Am Team GB? Read on to find out why your local sports club, group or event won’t want to miss out (and Perri Shakes-Drayton agrees!)

1. Grow your club

As a nationwide campaign, I Am Team GB is a great way to gain new members and volunteers.

2. Free kitbox

Sign up before 12 August to get a free I Am Team GB kitbox filled with goodies to promote your event and club.

3. Host an Olympian

To celebrate The National Lottery players’ unique support of Team GB’s athletes, sports stars will be heading to I Am Team GB events. Don’t miss your chance to host a sporting hero.

4. Olympic spirit

Capture the nation’s celebratory mood and get more people through your doors in the spirit of the Games.

5. It’s big!

Brought to you by ITV and The National Lottery, I Am Team GB is set to be the nation’s biggest ever sports day. With ITV showcasing events, this is your chance to be part of a national TV campaign. ITV is even switching off for an hour on the 27 August!

– If you’ve already got a Join In Club Profile, login and add an I Am Team GB event on Saturday 27 August. It’s free and easy!

Add an event

– If you’ve new to Join In and I AM TEAM GB, simply create a free page and I Am Team GB event.

Create a club page today

I AM TEAM GB is a golden opportunity for every local sports club and activity group to open their doors and welcome new members and supporters.
I AM TEAM GB is a golden opportunity for every local sports club and activity group to open their doors and welcome new members and supporters.

Join In with I AM TEAM GB

Curious about who’s behind I AM TEAM GB? Read on to find out more…

What is I AM TEAM GB?

I AM TEAM GB↑ is inviting the Great British public to get out and get active on Saturday 27 August. We’re looking for thousands of clubs to open their doors to new participants and inspire the UK to take part in sport. Olympians, fresh from Rio 2016 Olympic Games, will be attending events across the nation, giving the public the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with Team GB.

If you’re a club, event or sports group that’s not already part of Join In, create a profile to host your event.

If you’ve already got a Join In Club Profile, login and add your I AM TEAM GB event. (more…)