Locals are being offered the chance to see Crankworx Rotorua from behind the scenes, meet the world's top athletes and access "awesome swag" by volunteering in 2018.

Crankworx Rotorua runs from March 17 to 25 and the nine-day event is changing up with new tracks and more events than ever before, meaning volunteers are in hot demand.

Event director Ariki Tibble said volunteers were the beating heart of the event.

"We are blown away every year by the number of people who sign up for the roles and the pride that they take in fulfilling their duties.

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"To honour their efforts we've tried to create a volunteer programme that is both challenging and rewarding - each year we have given away a brand new bike as well as tens of thousands of dollars worth of spot prizes and 2018 is shaping up to be the most rewarding yet."

In addition to hanging out with the world's top riders, volunteers receive a Crankworx T-shirt, lunch on volunteer days, access to events and tickets to the volunteer wrap up party with prizes.

This year 340 volunteers will be needed to bring Crankworx Rotorua to life. The first weekend alone will need more than 100 volunteers for the GIANT Toa Enduro and Redwoods Downhill.

"In 2017, we had 300 volunteers helping out in positions from track repairs to helping the sports crew on course, driving riders up the mountain, scanning tickets, marshalling on the course, helping with client services and project logistics, as well as awards assistants."

Volunteer Adam Harlick has worked on the event every year since 2015 and his roles have included being a marshall at Downhill events, as well as being a part of the stretcher crew.

"I get involved because I like the vibe of Crankworx and being part of the volunteer family is great – everyone's happy and cheerful. It's nice to give back to the community.

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"It's a good experience to see everything behind the scenes, to understand how an event like Crankworx comes together and you get the best seats in the house right by all the action."

Volunteers can also make the most of their downtime to experience what Crankworx has to offer in the form of bike demos, spectating, browsing the merchandise tents, and shopping.

Shifts range from two to 12 hours with an expectation to work at least two to three shifts, with a total of at least eight hours for the week.

A preliminary schedule is released four weeks prior to the event, confirming shift lengths and crew assignment.

The minimum age to volunteer is 16, although those under 18 are required to submit a waiver by a parent or guardian.

Fill in the volunteer application form at crankworx.com/rotorua/volunteer/ and get ready to join the fun this March.