Tuesday, 15 November 2016

UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Glasgow

The first round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup arrived in Glasgow at the start of November.  While many of the stars of the Rio Olympics were resting, there was still an impressive line up of riders in attendance.

The last time the World Cup was in Glasgow was November 2012 and I was an anti-doping chaperone volunteer.  I had an amazing time (which you can read about here).  I applied again to volunteer this year, and was appointed to the Front of House team.
Essentially we were the first people that spectators saw when they arrived at the venue (after security at the main doors), and as well as welcoming everyone with a smile and a 'hello', some of us sold programmes and some of the team had cardboard cut-out frames to take pictures of people in (I couldn't resist having my picture taken, see below!)

I really enjoyed this role (apart from how chilly it was standing near to the doors early in the morning!) and it was nice to be able to chat to spectators about the cycling.  With all previous volunteering I have done, everyone (bar a very small number) has been so lovely, and this was no exception - every single volunteer and member of staff I came across was nice.  It is also really nice to see the same familiar faces at all these different events. [One of the volunteers who was volunteering Front of House on the evening sessions was Martin - who was also looking after Team Canada at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 - so it was really good to be able to have a catch up before and after the cycling when I was in as a spectator on the Sunday!  I can't believe the Commonwealth Games was two years ago now.]  The morning Front of House Team was made up of people who I had never met before, but we soon clicked and made a fantastic team.

Not long in to my Sunday morning shift, I was asked if I would mind moving over to help the Media team.  I had no idea what I would be doing, but it's interesting trying out different roles.  Basically I had to print out the start lists of the events happening in the session, and print out the results after each of the events and take the results to another media team area inside the velodrome.  I also had to sign in and out photographers.  Welcoming everyone who came in the media room, I certainly wasn't expecting Clare Balding to come in.  It turns out that BBC Sport had their base set up in the media room for the day.  Shortly after Clare Balding arrived, in came Sir Chris Hoy (!) and his family.  They were joined by Joanna Rowsell Shand and Chris Boardman.  It was so interesting listening to them preparing for the live broadcast.

I had tickets for the Sunday afternoon session - I ordered these before I applied to volunteer.  The afternoon session was one full of finals, including the conclusion of the newly tweaked Omnium.  With Laura Trott taking a break, the gauntlet was passed on to Emily Kay.  Having witnessed Laura Trott winning the event four years previously, it was so lovely to see Emily Kay step up to the plate and seal the omnium win in a very tight points race.

Claire was who I was watching the cycling with, and it was at the very same event four years ago that I met her.  That was the first track cycling event I had attended, and I've enjoyed it ever since!  I hadn't seen Claire since the Scottish Rally in June, so it was really good to be able to have a catch up too - we also share the same love of the German Track Cycling team.  It was a shame that the German Team Sprint team (including Robert Forstemann - 29 inch circumference thighs!) didn't medal in their bronze medal race.

Here are some of the pictures I took on the Sunday - I had forgotten how difficult it was to photograph the cyclists!

For the final two events, the men's team sprint and the Madison, we moved to the bend.  It is such a unique view from there, and you can really see just how steep the track is (scarily steep!).  In the madison especially, the riders come quite high - almost up to the barrier - so it is potentially a really good place to get some pictures also.  During the madison, Katie Archibald - a gold medalist from Rio 2016, and also winner of the women's madison from the night before (even with a fractured wrist, picked up from a fall near the start) - was wandering about the velodrome and we managed to get a picture with her.

We were standing not far from where the BBC Sport team were presenting from, and when they had finished they had to walk just behind us so we grabbed the opportunity to get a few pictures.  This was actually the second time I had met Clare Balding.  I was lucky enough to meet her during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, where she spoke to Hannah & myself a little about our G2014 roles.

Karen, one of the volunteers who I was on Friday & Saturday shifts with was on the Sunday afternoon shift, and she came by at exactly the right time with her cardboard cut out!  Here is a picture just after Sir Chris Hoy had been photographed in the frame.

And finally, a picture of Claire, Joanna Rowsell Shand and Me.



  1. Wow this sounds like an awesome day! I went to the velodrome in London when the Paralympics were on, but haven't seen track cycling since. Your blog has inspired me to see if I can get there. Also what a great opportunity to volunteer there. I'll definitely be looking out for opoortunities like this. How did you find out about it?
    Kate xx

    1. Hi! And firstly, thank you for visiting my blog!
      That's amazing that you went to the velodrome during London 2012! I was volunteering at London 2012, but was based in Glasgow at the football! I can only imagine London was absolutely buzzing?!
      http://emmamereta.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/volunteering-track-cycling-world.html - this was my first trip to the velodrome and it got me hooked! I've done the junior track champs too! I also went as a spectator to the Revolution Cycling series in Glasgow. I'm a sucker for sports, and the atmosphere inside of the velodrome just got me straight away and I knew I was going to enjoy it!
      Through volunteering, I've met some amazing people and we keep in touch, so if anyone hears of an opportunity then we get to hear about it, and you find you bump into the same people at events too! I also subscribe to the British cycling newsletter which usually has links to volunteering if there are big events on. 😄


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