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The 2023 Para Swim World Championships recently wrapped up.

The week-long event took place at the newly reopened and refurbished Manchester Aquatics Centre. The event saw the world's best in Para Swimming come to Manchester, winning medals, setting records and demonstrating the true power of sport.

The event also brought volunteers from Manchester and up and down the country, and the success of the event was helped tremendously by their assistance.

Manchester Active's very own Dan Roberts volunteered along with many others for the whole week, and has kindly shared his experience with us;

"I was fortunate to be selected as one of the Volunteer Athlete Services Team Leader for the week of the competition, and as someone who knows nothing about competitive swimming, I have to say it was an incredible week and I had an absolute blast with smiles all around and only positive words shared about the event.

Everyone across the board, from volunteers, to the centre staff, event staff and security embodied a real togetherness.

We sorted dinners for teams who missed their window, dealt with training pool tensions, managed the training pool for wheelchair athletes and met Man United star Casemiro  – none of which was in the role description, but all of which people took on with grace and determination.

It was a pleasure to work alongside the centre staff and life guards who went from slow short days during the refurb, to one of the busiest weeks of the centre for a while. Everyone knuckled down, cracked on and had a good laugh – admittedly with heavy bags under our eyes.

Personally - I witnessed someone break a world record with one breath, got photo bombed by team Spain, set up a community of learning for the researchers and passionate people, recruited interviewees for my PhD research into the impact of Sport Volunteering on health and its Accessibility for Disabled People, convinced people to sign up to the upcoming Taekwondo and Davis Cup, held the Olympic torches and made some new lifelong friends – and plenty more.

I think making time for events like this really puts into perspective the breadth and depth of the work we do at Manchester Active. There’s a lot that goes unnoticed, but the impact on each person I met at the event speaks for itself in so many ways. It opened my eyes to what’s possible when it comes to accessibility – for volunteers and for moving more.

I will admit there is certainly more to do to engage local people with the incredible history and future of sport this city has, but it’s events like these that provide the inspiration for people to move more and take part.

What’s still true today is the legacy of the Commonwealth Games from 2002, not just in the sporting infrastructure in Manchester, but the Games were a real game changer for so many volunteers too, and hope more people try volunteering and share the experience I did.

Be proud and be grateful – that’s my take."


are you interested in volunteering in manchester?

Find opportunities on MCRVIP

Also check out upcoming sporting events taking place across the city here.
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