Why you should consider joining the Commonwealth Collective

20th July 2021

Why you should consider joining the Commonwealth Collective

Do not miss the opportunity to be part of beach volleyball at Birmingham 2022, says Janet Inman, lifelong volunteer and former CEO of Volleyball England, who reflects on her journey at London 2012.


For most of my adult life I have been a volunteer. Most of my family think I am slightly mad, but it gives me enormous pleasure to know that my time and efforts are having a positive impact on others.

Sport has been a very important part of my life and when the announcement was made in 2005 that London would be the host city for the 2012 Olympics, I knew I had to be a Games Maker.

When the day came to sign up, I was on the website, ready to go. You might think that I would sign up for volleyball, but no, I wanted to experience other sports, so I signed up for canoeing and sailing.

I was excited to get a call from one of the sports managers telling me they had a role for me as one of the team leaders at the beach volleyball event at Horse Guards Parade, no escape, not that I minded because I knew I would be working alongside lifelong friends from the sport.

As the event drew closer the excitement grew. As a team leader I had a role that meant being in London several weeks before the event doing preparation, making sure all the processes and paperwork were in place to ensure the event ran smoothly.

Looking back, the days during the event were long and, at times, stressful. But it was an amazing experience to meet and work alongside the world’s top beach athletes. Seeing them as individuals, people with needs, hopes and aspirations like the rest of us, but totally committed to what they do. Looking back, so were all the volunteer Games Makers, they were 100% focused on making sure the athletes could perform to their best and that the spectators had an experience they would never forget.

My time spent in London was a very steep learning curve, this is the biggest sporting event in the world, and I was part of it. Millions of people would watch on TV from every country in the world. Thousands packed the stadiums every day and had an amazing event – all supported by an army of volunteers delivering a seamless spectacle.

I am incredibly proud to be one of the team that ensured that beach volleyball will be part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games programme. Will I be volunteering? Not this time – I want others to experience what I felt of being part of an amazing multi-sport event, to develop their skills, make new lifelong friends, and work alongside top athletes from around the world. It is time for the next generation of volunteers to enjoy the thrill of the Games – do not miss the opportunity to be part of beach volleyball at Birmingham 2022, sign up today.


Has Janet piqued your interest in volunteering at Birmingham 2022? Find out more about joining the ‘Commonwealth Collective’ and forging your own memories for life.

In total, Birmingham 2022 is recruiting 13,000 volunteers, and you can apply for specific beach volleyball roles using the codes listed here. Be quick, applications are expected to close later this month!

Why you should consider joining the Commonwealth Collective