VOLUNTEERS are being sought to help stage one of the biggest sporting events due to be held in the North East this year.
Durham County Cricket Club will be hosting an Ashes Test match against Australia at its Chester-le-Street ground in August.
The game is expected to bring many thousands to the region, boost the economy and cement County Durham’s place on the map of the cricketing world.
But the organisers want supporters to come forward and play a part in running the event, in the same way that the Games Makers helped last year’s London Olympics become a success.
Richard Dowson, chief operating officer at the club, said: “We are looking for volunteers who are hardworking and motivated, and have a passion for sport and events, but also are determined to help the club ensure that an event of this stature will be delivered successfully.
“We want the experience received here at Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground to be the best throughout the series.
“We feel using local volunteers to be the best way to achieve this.
“This is a great opportunity to get involved, giving people experience of working with Durham CCC in such a huge event for the region.”
The Ashes Makers project is being supported by the Chester-Le-Street and District Area Action Partnership.
Andrew Megginson, AAP coordinator, said: “From working with the local community, it’s clear how proud people are to have Chester-le-Street hosting an Ashes Test match.
“The Ashes Makers project is a great way to harness that pride by working with volunteers to ensure the thousands of visitors the Ashes will attract receive a warm welcome during their stay.”
This is not the first time the club has hosted a high-profile international game.
In September 2011, a crowd of 17,500 descended on the stadium to watch England take on India in a one-day international match.
A report published earlier this year revealed that international cricket is set to create nearly 900 jobs and bring £60m into the region in just four years.
Officials predict that nearly £20m will be ploughed into the region’s economy this year alone as more than 225,000 fans and tourists head for the Durham ground for the Ashes match, over its five scheduled days.
The Test series will begin at Trent Bridge in July, with Lord’s, Old Trafford and The Oval also hosting games.
Durham will stage the fourth match in the five-game series.
Volunteers must be available between August 8 and 13.
Inquiries and applications can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org