Rose Berridge, 63, is an avid volunteer at multi-sport events, with stamps on her passport to prove it. She’s travelled from her home in Sutton Coldfield to a variety of destinations, including the Gold Coast in Australia when she volunteered at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
“I’ve had such a wonderful time volunteering. I enjoy being part of a big spectacle and it gives me comfort to know that I am helping young athletes to fulfil their dreams.”
And Rose was certainly close to the sporting action at Gold Coast 2018. Her role as a Post-Event Control Assistant at the athletics events involved her guiding athletes in the right direction once they’d finished their competition – whether it was signposting them to the Media Zone, helping them to collect their clothes and accreditations, or directing them to the medal ceremonies. Rose also helped to set up areas prior to the start of competitions, ensuring all the correct equipment was in place, then clearing the area at end of competition ready for the next day.
“the buzz leading up to the games was phenomenal”
Knowing she was playing her part in a huge event is what made it so special for her:
“When I received my volunteering confirmation email and saw the word ‘Congratulations’ – it was just fantastic. Next came my notification of training, then the invite came to collect my uniform… This was the milestone I was waiting for because I knew I was one step away from working at an extraordinary event. When the day finally came for me to wear my uniform for my first shift, it was even better than I had imagined. The buzz leading up to the Games was phenomenal, the excitement surrounding the Opening Ceremony and the atmosphere during the Games was surreal.”
Rose also volunteered at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as a Technical Video Assistant. She was responsible for video recording the Track and Field athletics events for judges to review and determine outcomes for appeals lodged by disqualified athletes.
She has gained so much from volunteering and she’s keen to encourage others to follow in her footsteps:
“Volunteering is a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills, boost confidence, meet people and develop new friendships, learn about other people’s culture… the list is endless. People should volunteer for Birmingham 2022 because the city is going to put on a spectacular event, and it will be a great hosting city for the Commonwealth Games. Birmingham is a vibrant cosmopolitan city to live, work and play and there is so much to see and do for people of all ages.”