Meet 25-year-old Stephanie from Sydney. A member of the 900 strong volunteer team for the inaugural edition in 2015, Stephanie was one of the first to register to volunteer her services again for 2016.

We had a chat with Stephanie about her volunteering experiences to date and why you should come along and join her.

Is there any particular motivation for signing up for the 2016 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race?
I signed up for the inaugural edition of the race in 2015 and really enjoyed the experience. It was a great event, and now that it has been elevated to 1.HC classification, it will be even more exciting in 2016.

I’m also looking forward to the women’s and men’s races. I’ve been to the Classics races in Europe and particularly like the racing at these one-day events. The course of the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is quite similar, and lends itself to an exciting style of racing and intense competition that is great to watch.

What do you find most enjoyable about volunteering at events such as this?
Volunteering at races like the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is a fantastic opportunity to work with others who are interested in cycling, and gain insight into how a major cycling event is organised.

It’s also a great way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for cycling with others and contribute to making the race a great experience for fans, riders, teams and visitors.

Volunteering at the race this year also provided me with the chance to combine my passion for cycling and love of travelling. I flew from Sydney to Geelong to visit some of the spectacular sights that the region has to offer, and even took the time ride some of the race route myself.

What types of roles have you performed as a volunteer to date?
At the 2015 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, I assisted in preparing the podium presentations and performed other general backstage duties. I also assisted riders and teams in the team tents before and after the race. During the race, I answered queries from guests, visitors and fans. It was fantastic to be involved in such a wide variety of tasks.

As a law graduate, I also undertake free legal work in the community, which is a very rewarding experience.

In addition, I enjoy volunteering at local sporting competitions, where I’m involved in a range of activities such as promoting events, managing information booths, timekeeping and looking after athletes.

What are you most looking forward to at the 2016 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race?
I’m looking forward to working with a team of friendly and dedicated volunteers, and talking with others in the cycling industry who share my passion for the sport.

Being an international event, I’m also hoping to have the chance to put my foreign language skills into practice and perhaps speak some German, French or Spanish with the teams and overseas visitors.

This year, I’ll be staying in Geelong for several days, and am planning to see some of the sights along the Great Ocean Road. I’m particularly looking forward to taking my bike with me and riding on some of the scenic routes around Geelong.

Do you volunteer with others, or on your own?
I usually volunteer by myself.

What reasons would you give to others to encourage them to volunteer at the event?
I would encourage others to volunteer at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in 2016 because no matter your previous experience, volunteering offers a great opportunity to become more involved in the sport and assist in staging a world-class cycling event.

The race organisation’s staff are very supportive and great to work with. There are always a variety of roles on offer, such as working around the course, engaging with spectators and fans, or distributing information and promotional material. It is a fantastic opportunity to take on new and exciting activities, learn different skills in the process, and meet like-minded people with similar interests.