Clive Richardson is a team leader of volunteers at the World Para Athletics Championships
Clive Richardson is a team leader of volunteers at the World Para Athletics Championships

A former school head is volunteering at a world tournament for para athletes this week.

Clive Richardson, who was president of Newark Swimming Club for a year, is a team leader of volunteers at the World Para Athletics Championships in London.

The event features 1,200 athletes from more than 130 countries over nine days at the Olympic Stadium. It finishes on Sunday.

London 2017 is the eighth world championships and the first since IPC Athletics was rebranded World Para Athletics. The last championships were held in Doha, Qatar, in 2015. 

“Look at what happened at the 2012 London Olympics when everyone came together."

Richardson said: “I’m delighted to have been chosen and to get the chance to go.

“Volunteering has got me into sport again and without volunteers these sort of events would never happen. So what I am doing is important.

“Look at what happened at the 2012 London Olympics when everyone came together. It left a real legacy.

“You don’t even have to be good at sport to be involved as anyone can do it. I’m looking forward to it.”

Richardson, who was head of Bishop Alexander Primary School, Newark, for 14 years, applied to help at the games in October.

He was one of 7,000 applicants offered an interview and one of 4,000 chosen to volunteer.

“I was selected as a team leader, so during the interview I had to prove we could all work together as a team,” he said.

That involved Richardson working with other applicants in a leadership role.

“We worked things out and it went well,” he said.

“I also had a formal interview that involved describing my skills and leadership roles.

“I spoke about my time as a headteacher, as well as my roles at the swimming club.

“I was president there for a year and organised the age-group championships and trophy events.”

Richardson’s role as a team leader includes organising fellow volunteers, making sure spectators know where they are going, checking tickets and generally looking after visitors. 

He began his work on Monday and his final shift will be on Saturday.