Runners on your mark

Track and field teams looking for volunteers to help at meets in Columbia

On your mark. Get set.

If those words brought back the anxious feeling you used to feel as you awaited the sound of the starter's pistol, then spending a few weekends at Cregger Track may be ideal for you this semester. The Gamecock track and field program is calling for registered officials and volunteers to assist with its home meets, to be held March 23-24, April 7 and April 21. No experience is required and all physical abilities are welcome.

“All of the former schools I coached at relied on some form of volunteers to assist with track and field meets, but none of them as heavily as we do at Carolina,” says Andrew Allden, assistant coach of track & field. “Most of our help comes from within the university community and the majority of our volunteers continue helping for years.”

While some of its volunteers are officials certified by the university, others are simply people from within the Carolina community. Whether a former high school or college athlete or a professor looking to interact with students outside of the classroom, the team has a job for you. Spouses, undergraduate and graduate students are welcome as well.

“Our volunteers come from a variety of ages, from college students to those who are retired,” says Allden. “We place people according to their interests and physical abilities, so someone who needs to sit for longer periods of time may be tasked with check-ins while someone who is more physically able may be involved with retrieving implements, raking pits or pulling measuring tapes”

Scheduling is flexible and volunteers can choose to work full or half days. All volunteers receive an event T-shirt and lunch and can expect a day of high-level competition as major Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference teams go head to head.

“Assisting with track and field meets is a different way of interacting with athletics,” Allden says. “You’ll get a closer view of the action and we sometimes have Olympians competing. Many of our volunteers enjoy their roles so much that they go through our training process and become certified officials.”

In 2019, the team will see expansion with the introduction of an indoor track and field facility. Allden hopes to secure volunteers this season so folks will be trained for the increase in demand.

The deadline to register for this season is March 14. For more information, contact assistant coach Andrew Allden at

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