Meet the volunteers: you may have seen these Scouts on our water stations!
12 August 2022
12 August 2022
Richard has been the leader of St Matthew’s Scouts in Chapel Allerton for 15 years, and for the last 12 years, his Scout group (plus several others in the district) have supported us by volunteering at the Leeds Half Marathon and Leeds 10K. We caught up with Richard to see how he started volunteering with us, and why he keeps coming back year after year.
“I actually used to live on the route of the half marathon,” Richard explains. “I saw the volunteers at the drinks station handing out water and it made me think ‘we could do that’! So I got in touch and arranged to get the kids to help out. We ended up doing the first drinks station at the next Leeds Half Marathon.”
Gradually, Richard has done more and more to help us out. They used to just do one drinks station at the half marathon, then it was two, then three, and now they manage all four. The Scouts also now help out at the Leeds 10K, where they help with finish drinks and handing out goody bags. What started as a handful of volunteers at a drinks station has evolved into hundreds of Scouts coming from all over the district to help.
“The kids absolutely love it. There’s always that anticipation when we’re waiting, knowing it’s started and the first runner is on their way. Usually the first few don’t want a drink, but when the surge comes, the kids just get so into it. The runners are always really thankful and the kids love cheering them on or calling out the names they have printed on their bibs.”
Richard is actually a runner himself, and says the only downside to volunteering is that he hasn’t been able to take part in our events in Leeds, although he has enjoyed running the Yorkshire Marathon before. However, he’s really looking forward to taking on his first Leeds running event soon – the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon on 14th May 2023.
“As soon as I saw it was on, I knew I couldn’t miss it,” Richard says. The Scouts will be at the drinks stations for that event too, so he said he’s sure they’ll be cheering him on and spraying him with water as he goes round the course. “I’m probably going to get completely soaked,” he laughs.
We want to say a big thank you to Richard and all the Scout groups that help out at our event days. Our volunteers are such a vital part of our events and we simply couldn’t do it without them. If you’re interested in volunteering too, click here to find out more or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!