Hockey coach Amo Soar is swapping the freezing temperatures of Newark’s winter for the warmth of Australia’s Gold Coast for the next three weeks.
Soar, who has led Newark Ladies’ 1sts this season, will fly out on Monday to volunteer at the Commonwealth Games.
He has been given a role of field-of-play team leader, having worked as team liaison officer at other major tournaments.
“I will be looking after all the ins-and-outs of the pitch. Timings are very important at major tournaments,” said Soar.
“I will have to make sure umpires and teams are there for a certain time, for example, and will also be looking after pitches and making sure they are watered.”
Soar has volunteered at major international tournaments for ten years.
“I enjoy the sport and attending and working at the competitions gives me an opportunity to develop as a coach,” he said.
“It is a chance to connect with other people, see how other teams and countries play, coach and set up, and adapt to playing on their travels.
“This is the first time I have gone to that part of the world. Two years ago I was in Rio for the Olympics and I hope to go to Tokyo for the Olympics in 2020.”
'You can learn so much'
Soar started working at international tournaments in 2007 and was also at the London Olympics in 2012.
His best memory from volunteering, however, came at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games four years ago.
“I was a liaison officer attached to the Australia men’s team. It was brilliant, the best time I have had in the ten years,” Soar said.
“I went to their first training session and was making notes when their coach asked what I was doing.
“I told him I wanted to learn and he said to stop writing as he would give me all the information I needed at the end of the tournament. He did and it was great. You can learn so much.”
The women’s competition will feature England, India, South Africa, Scotland, Malaysia, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Ghana and Canada. The men’s event will involve England, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Wales, Scotland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.