The importance of volunteers

It's National Volunteers' Week! Volunteers have paved the way for the journeys of many athletes and helped them achieve and record their greatest performances. Whether a teacher, coach, club member, parent or official, this sport wouldn't exist without their contributions.

Olympian Donna Fraser was a guest speaker at the England Athletics London Regional Volunteer Awards last year. She spoke of her athletics journey and how it was supported throughout by volunteers - her Primary School teacher in the early days, being spotted by coach Robin Birchall, and her development under the guidance of coach Ayo Falola.

It goes way back to to that shy eight year old that just wanted to run fast. I thank my primary school teacher for volunteering her time.

Donna Fraser

The West Midlands Region had invited steeplechaser and now Head of Athletics at Birmingham University Luke Gunn to speak to all those present at their awards evening. Luke represented England at the Commonwealth Games in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

You know, I never really got a chance to thank my first coach Pete (Wilkinson) enough. He just came down happily to the club - and sadly, he's not with us anymore. But he gave me great grounding in the sport, very humble, he taught me hard work.

Luke Gunn

Our 2023 Volunteer Awards nomination process is now open, so why not let us know about a deserving volunteer?

Find out more and nominate online