Thank those who make running happen
Runners in Scotland have more to be grateful for than just the easing of lockdown
Yesterday marked the start of Volunteers’ Week (1–7 June) across Scottish sport, a time to reflect on – and thank – everyone who gives of their time freely to make many of the things we love most about running happen.
No event, however big or small, charitable or commercial, can happen without volunteers to hand out water, marshal routes and cheer us all on.
And let’s not forget parkrun, whose dozens of Scottish events rely on hundreds of volunteers across the country every single Saturday morning.
Closer to home, our local running clubs also rely on the many hours given by volunteer committee members – most of which are spent in front of a computer, not out on the roads or tracks – to help us train, race and enjoy running.
While the work of all these volunteers really is priceless, it does have an official value – a staggering £8.6m per year, according to a 2019 scottishathletics report.
Although it might have felt at times that nothing much has been happening since the March lockdown, volunteers of all persuasions have most certainly been keeping our wheels turning: races continue to be organised (or postponed); coaches and club members have been encouraging fitness at home; club officials have been keeping up to date with paperwork and forward planning for the return of normal life; and virtual challenges are being dreamed up and administered until it does.
From posts on social media this week, it’s clear that the dedication shown by Scotland’s volunteers during these extraordinary times is recognised from the grassroots all the way up to the top of our sport.
Colin Hutchison, scottishathletics’ Head of Development, said: "The work being done by clubs and coaches to continue engaging with their athletes through lockdown has been inspiring. In the background, we have also had a team of officials supporting our staff to scrutinise results from our virtual events.
"All these people combined have put in an incredible amount of effort during this period and we would like to say a massive thank you to all of you who support athletics in Scotland as a volunteer."
And you should too!