Volunteering Week blog: Hannah Marshall

In support of Volunteer Week, we are taking time to value the considerable contribution of volunteers in supporting and delivering activities in colleges and in the communities which they serve.

Our role is to support colleges to establish and deliver high-quality leadership and development programmes to their own students.

We offer a number of different volunteering opportunities, including This Girl Can Ambassadors, ECFA Activators and volunteeers for the National Championships.

We spoke to Hannah Marshall from Hartlepool Sixth Form College, about her volunteering experience at this year’s National Championships.

On the first day of competition some volunteers were given the role of meeting the competitors and travelled around the various halls of residence to greet the regional teams who were arriving from all over England.

We were given an extended lunch break before being assigned our afternoon activities (I was given the role of photographer). Other roles included scoreboard manager and media support teams.

The afternoon was great fun but also taught us the technical and detailed work that goes in to running a major sporting event and how the roles we were performing can make a significant difference to the smooth running of the event.

A small group of us then headed over to the main sports hall to set and prepare the venue for the opening ceremony and to brief the other volunteers on their roles during the ceremony.

The roles during the opening ceremony included showing the various regions to their allocated area and escorting the VIP party to their seats whilst making sure other guests were given directions to their seats

The guest speaker for the opening ceremony was Danny Crates, a Paralympian gold medal winner who gave a very inspirational speech to the audience

Some volunteers were lucky enough to be able to meet our guests of honour including Hugh Johnson, the Mayor of Nottingham and Marcus Kingwell (the managing director of AoC Sport)


Second day of competition

Another early start – we had to be at our venues for 8.30 to prepare for competition starting at 9.00

My role was to help run the table tennis competition, making sure all equipment was available and to record and collate the results as games were completed and prepare the final results. Other roles included netball scoreboard manager, which involved being responsible for displaying the timing of the matches as well as keeping the score up to date as games progressed.

On Saturday evening we hosted an event called ‘Saturday Night Live’ which involved many fun activities that both the competitors and volunteers could take part in. We played wheelchair basketball, UV badminton, UV table tennis and dodgeball. We had a great evening which finished with the volunteers playing a game of wheelchair basketball in which we even got our team leaders Kirstie and Matt involved.


Final day of competition

At our events by 8.30 again, getting ready for the competition, which saw the finals of many of the sports that had been played over the weekend.

Today I was assigned to the media team, this was very exciting as it meant I was the photographer at many of the finals. This involved trying to capture the winning goal or point and also interviewing teams who are potentially the best college teams in the country. The events finished at about 2.00p.m. and everyone gathered in the Sports Hall for the closing ceremony.

As I was the media volunteer for the day I continued to photograph the event. The closing ceremony was presented by Craig Zimmerman who gave an excellent and motivational final speech to the many athletes present.


I loved volunteering at the AoC National Championships this year. I was nervous on arrival but it was a great experience and I was actually able to be involved in a wide range of roles from scoreboard manager, competition co-ordinator through to using my photography skills and experiencing the role of a reporter on my final day.

I will definitely be volunteering again next year!

Volunteering is a fun and exciting experience where you can be involved in some of the most important sporting events in the country! It also looks great on a CV and can get you involved in the working world.

Find out more about volunteering and our opportunities here.