Being an ICC Cricketeer opened many doors
Posted: Thu, 05 Jan 2017 09:53
23 year old Rayhaan Hans is the current mascot for Warwickshire CCC. In the past two summers he has worked alongside the England cricket team as brand ambassador, attending all their matches up and down the country. His role involves interacting with spectators and assisting with various activities on the pitch.
How long have you been volunteering?
I started volunteering in 2013. The ICC Champions Trophy 2013 was my first experience as a volunteer and I've just gone on from there. Getting that first bit of experience as a Cricketeer opened many doors for me and once you catch that volunteering bug you want to carry on doing more.
What normally happens when you volunteer?
There are a whole host of roles as a volunteer. Be it Spectator Services which involves meeting and greeting the fans who are coming in to the stadium or it could be helping out the ground staff, pulling the covers on when it inevitably rains! You could be liaising with the media or helping out in the hospitality suites and mixing with the sports stars and celebrities.
What made you start volunteering?
Hearing a lot about the "Games Makers" after the London 2012 Olympics made me wish I was a part of it and I knew that if the opportunity to participate in something like that ever came around I wasn't going to miss out again. I received an email newsletter informing me that applications to be a Cricketeer at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 were live so I applied straight away!
Why do you think being a Cricketeer is important?
Purely for the fact that the tournament couldn't take place without Cricketeers. Seeing the event from an organiser's point of view makes you realise the importance of organisation and the task you have at hand. A lot of spectators will have come from overseas so the reception and welcome you give them is the opinion they'll have on the city and country as a whole. Being that first point of contact is also important to give a good impression. You also get to learn new people skills and being given responsibility increases your self-belief too.
What did you enjoy most about being a volunteer, did anything stand out?
Even though you don't do it for the recognition you get a real sense of accomplishment when you help solve a problem a spectator may have and you get people thanking you for your effort and hard work. Being able to look back and think I was a part of the tournament is quite a proud moment too, knowing you did your little bit to help in the grand scheme of things. During the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 we got given a lap of honour around the pitch and having tens of thousands of people applauding you was a very special moment.
Would you recommend volunteering friends / family / colleagues, if so why?
I'd definitely recommend being a cricketer to anyone and everyone who might be interested. It's an incredible experience, one where you get to meet a whole host of people from around the world. Talking personally, after being a Cricketeer in 2013 I stayed on as a volunteer at Edgbaston and have done ever since, helping out at countless matches over the years and even ending up with a paid job. I have also gone on to volunteer at the Rugby World Cup 2015 and have been offered jobs based on the experience I've gained as a volunteer. A lot of employers look favourably on candidates who have voluntary experience so regardless of what career you go in to, having that experience as a volunteer is always helpful.