Eddie Izzard: ‘Keep the volunteering spirit alive’

Image: Join In/Run It

Behind every running club and race - be it a local parkrun or a major marathon - is a mass of volunteers, taking on everything from coaching to marshalling and media promotion. However, research by London 2012 legacy charity Join In reports that 70 per cent of grassroots sports clubs are still in need of more volunteers.

Comedian Eddie Izzard, patron of Join in, said "Every Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports star started out at a local sports club or group. Any one of them will tell you how important volunteers are, and the vital role that they've played in their career."

"Given that each volunteer creates the capacity for at least 8.5 more participants in sport, it's vital that we keep the volunteering spirit alive."

Izzard, who ran 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief in 2009, emphasised the positive impact volunteering can have on communities, saying "I've seen it first-hand; people from different backgrounds, ages and areas, coming together for a cause they feel strongly about."

"They feel that they can trust their communities and that they have an impact on what that community is like. Clubs need help and there are roles for everyone."

If you're looking to volunteer, or you're part of a running club looking for more support, you can head to the Join In website to find something in your local area.