Applications are now open to become one of the hundreds of volunteers that are needed for this summer’s 2023 IBSA World Games.
The 2023 International Blind Sport Federation (IBSA) World Games are being held across Birmingham and other regional venues including Coventry, Warwick and Walsall between August 18-27 – marking the first time it has ever been held in the UK.
The IBSA World Games will see around 1,250 blind and partially sighted athletes from 70 countries competing in 10 sports – three of which include men’s blind football, men’s and women’s goalball, and judo which are qualification tournaments for the 2024 Paralympic Games.
Other sports featured include archery, chess, men’s and women’s cricket, powerlifting, ten pin bowling, tennis, and showdown.
The World Games will provide an opportunity for more than 400 volunteers to play their part in what is expected to be the largest gathering of blind and partially sighted athletes ever brought to the UK.
Applications open on Thursday June 1 to mark the start of Volunteers’ Week, which runs between June 1-7 in the UK.
Volunteers are required at every venue to fill a range of positions, from helping with classification to assisting athletes within the World Games villages, creating content in media and marketing team, and at training and competition sessions to ensure spectators have the best experience.
The World Games predominantly takes place at venues in Birmingham including University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus, however there are also venues further afield in Coventry, Warwick and Walsall, including Coventry Building Society Arena and University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall Campus.
Birmingham is hosting the seventh edition of the World Games following a successful joint bid between British Blind Sport, Birmingham City Council, Sport Birmingham, UK Sport, and the University of Birmingham.
Supported by lead sponsor RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), the unique multi-sport event is coordinated by event management company MLS Contracts Ltd, with British Blind Sport – the national disability sport organisation representing blind and partially sighted people in sport across Great Britain – named as this year’s host federation.
Sallie Barker, Chair at British Blind Sport, said: “It is fantastic for Birmingham and the UK to host the 2023 IBSA World Games, which has the potential to be a real watershed moment for the two million people in the UK who are blind or partially sighted.
“Birmingham is a proud sporting city as we saw when it successfully hosted the Commonwealth Games last year, and there are so many volunteering opportunities for people in the community to be part of another great festival of sport this summer.
“This event will not only help provide the stage for the world’s best blind and partially sighted athletes to showcase their talents, but it will also inspire other blind and partially sighted individuals to take advantage of the pathways into sport and opportunities to volunteer.”
The Volunteer Programme is managed by Power of People Ltd, on behalf of Sport Birmingham.
Tom Bowkett, Head of Projects at Power of People, said: “The Volunteer Programme is a great way for the community to be a part of a global multi-sport event which is happening right on their doorstep and to help with the continuing amazing set of major events that take place in the region.
“There are a range of opportunities available and we are ideally looking for volunteers who can be available for six shifts or more throughout the duration of the event.
“Volunteer opportunities are available from August 12-28, however a higher level of support will be required during the World Games competition days.”
The Volunteer Programme is open to all to apply and applicants can specify their availability and location preferences.
Successful applicants will be contacted throughout June and July.