From its first year, volunteers have been key to making Crankworx Rotorua one of the most revered events on the global mountain bike calendar.

The nine-day event had 360 volunteers in action across 850 shifts, covering a total of 6902 hours last year.

Canadian Chris Evans has been involved with Crankworx since it took place in Whistler Canada in 2016.

"Since I started with Crankworx in 2016 I've only missed one Crankworx event, with Rotorua this year being my ninth event.

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"In 2018 I decided I wanted to do the entire World Tour so I [worked] at all four stops of the event."

A rider flies confidently through the air at Crankworx Rotorua last year. Photo / File
A rider flies confidently through the air at Crankworx Rotorua last year. Photo / File

He said as soon as he arrived in Rotorua he had felt like he was part of a family and the place would forever hold a special place in his heart.

"Every time I get to New Zealand I feel right at home even though I'm about 11,000km away from my actual home and that's a special feeling that I don't think you get anywhere else."

Evans said he had never mountain biked before he started volunteering at Crankworx.

"I rode the famous Top of the World track in Whistler - my second time ever mountain biking - as I wanted to see the view, but had no idea what I got myself into.

"Luckily my bike and I survived."

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He encouraged others to volunteer for Crankworx because, "plain and simple" it was fun.

Marilyn Northcotte has volunteered since Crankworx started in 2015.

She heard about the event through mountain biking networks and thought she had to be involved.

"I love interacting and mixing with everyone, giving back, and exploring the region while doing a bit of riding, plus it's such a good vibe."

Aaron Fisher, a long-time volunteer and operations team member, said it was the feeling of being an integral part of the event that drew him to Crankworx every year.

"It's great working with bunch of super friendly and really motivated people to help pull off a major international event like Crankworx Rotorua.

"Knowing that it's being watched around the world by millions of people and to be able to say 'I helped to make that happen'."

Crankworx Rotorua event director Ariki Tibble said volunteers were the beating heart of the event and once inducted they instantly became part of the Crankworx Rotorua family.

"Our volunteer program not only provides us with a connection to the entire Rotorua community but it ensures that we are giving back which is a vital part of making sure this event is successful and that everyone feels a part of it."

Getting involved
- Volunteers needed from March 19 to March 24
- Working at least eight hours for the week.
- Preliminary schedule released four weeks prior to the event.
- Minimum age to volunteer is 16.
Go to crankworx.com/Rotorua for more information.