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Tuesday 13 March 2012

Cheshire East Council worker awarded Olympics role


A Cheshire East Council worker has been selected to help make the London 2012 Olympics the most successful ever.

Former schoolboy sprinter Peter Cox will be a volunteer helping to ensure the perfect preparation conditions for the Olympics badminton squads at London’s Wembley Arena.

Sports enthusiast Peter, 52, from Middlewich, who will help with stewarding and court maintenance at the arena between July 22 and August 5, said: “It’s brilliant news. Absolutely fantastic! I’m so proud to be involved.

“My family is over the moon. My partner Helen is on top of the world. She’s thrilled for me and my two grown children, Hannah and Ian, are ecstatic.”

Grandfather-of-one Peter applied to be an Olympics volunteer last year and attended an interview last October – but only recently learned of his success. 

And it is not the first time that the part-time cook at Salinae day care centre, in Middlewich, has played a volunteer role at a top international sporting event.

The father of two was team leader for security at the athletes’ village during the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games. He has also volunteered at several other major sporting events including the Paralympic World Cup, which is held annually in Manchester, athletics meetings and squash and badminton tournaments. 

Peter added: “Some people think I’m mad for volunteering and not getting paid – but I love it! Without volunteers, events like the Olympics would not take place and would not be the great events and success stories they are.”

And volunteering in sport is changing lives across Cheshire East.

More than 100 people are currently signed up for Cheshire East Council’s leisure development volunteer programme and they are learning new skills and making new friends while operating in schools, partner groups and clubs and community initiatives.

Ever since it was announced the Olympic and Paralympic Games would be held in London in 2012, there has been a huge emphasis to get people involved in volunteering.

And the Council wants everyone to know that it does not have to be a chore – it can be a very rewarding pastime, which could even act as a springboard to a successful career in the sport or leisure sector.

Councillor Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “Within the last three years, about 10,000 hours of volunteer service has been given to the programme. Many volunteers have gained a career within the industry on the back of the skills and experience they have gained.

“Many volunteers have also experienced the health benefits of the programme, with many revealing an increase in their health and wellbeing through helping others.

“Volunteers are the backbone of our community projects. Without them we can not function as efficiently as a team. There will be 70,000 volunteers supporting the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and within Cheshire East we already have 125 active volunteers – but we still need more people to come forward.”

The programme has been funded by Street Games UK Ltd, which has been used to fund volunteers in leisure, sport and play to attend minimum operating standard courses, leadership courses and coaching qualifications.

And many people in Cheshire East are feeling the benefits.

A total of 203 people have at some time been involved in the scheme since May 2008, and there are currently 125 active sports volunteers in Cheshire East.

And through liaison between Cheshire East partners and the development of the Council’s leisure and play development initiatives, there are still many safe, suitable and rewarding volunteer opportunities available.

Cheshire East’s volunteering programme is also involved in the ‘personal best programme’ – a pre-employment scheme designed to inspire people to volunteer at the 2012 Olympics and to engage and lift the aspirations of the unemployed to find work.

As the scheme has developed, it has been recognised nationally. In 2010, it received the Inspire Mark award, which will run until August 2012. The Council intends to use this to promote the Games and get more volunteers involved in sport and play.

Sport England, through the Community Investment Fund, has funded a two-year volunteer coordinator post that officially started in February 2009.

To find out more about the programme, visit:

or contact the team on 01625 383790 or 07809 665229.

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