Australian cricketer Shane Warne has teamed up with Mayor Boris Johnson to launch a new volunteer recruitment drive, Team London, asking Londoners to offer their time and skills to a range of projects, from sporting and cultural events to community gardens.
Warne commented; “It’s a true delight to be supporting the Mayor of London’s volunteering drive. We all saw how much of a difference the many thousands of volunteers made last summer during the London 2012 Games. I can’t be enthusiastic enough about people joining in, even if only for a few hours now and again, they can still make a difference. Grassroots sports can’t survive without the support and dedication of good people of all ages and backgrounds.
“It’s fantastic to see how many more opportunities are on offer for Londoners to, in many cases, change the fortunes and life experiences of others for the better; an ethos I wholeheartedly endorse and have seen the genuine impact of through my own fundraising work for the Shane Warne Foundation.”
The Mayor and the cricket star joined forces at the Oval to meet volunteers and school children to further galvanise the spirit of 2012 with a major new Team London recruitment drive.
The Mayor is asking Londoners to offer their time and skills to a range of projects from planting a community garden, time keeping at fun runs, or helping young people with job skills, to volunteering at major sporting and cultural events like Ride London and the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.
At the event the Mayor and Shane enjoyed a game of cricket with local school children and Team London volunteers who are helping out at the ICC Champions Trophy. This is the second time the tournament has been played in England with competition taking place over 18 days with matches in three venues – The Oval, Edgbaston and Cardiff.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Our Team London volunteers are good will ambassadors and their hard work is immeasurable. We now have thousands of Team London opportunities through which people can go local and do something great for their city.
“Our volunteers have had the chance to bowl with the ‘king of spin’ today; Shane Warne is widely acknowledged as the greatest bowler ever to play Test cricket. I’d like to thank him for supporting our volunteers and invite everybody to keep the 2012 spirit alive by getting involved in events and in their local communities.”
Ally Jarvis, Head of Cricketeers Programme for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 said: “Volunteers are at the heart of successful events and the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 will be no different. The Cricketeers will enhance the spectator’s experience and form an integral part of the tournament. I am extremely grateful to all our Cricketeers for kindly volunteering their time – we saw the immense power of volunteers during London 2012 and their involvement will undoubtedly help to ensure the tournament is one to remember.”
Jim Wong, Team London Volunteer, who worked on the Olympics and the recent UEFA Champions League Final said: “I’ve never had the opportunity to work with so many different types of people before. It’s really boosted my confidence, and helped me when I was looking for employment. I’ve now secured a work contract with my new skills and I’ll keep on helping out with Team London events as they are great fun.”
Team London recognises the work of everyday Londoners and the many voluntary groups and charities in the capital. Building on all the work that is already taking place, it focuses efforts on areas of need where volunteers can help make a real difference.