Thousands of Tour Makers took centre stage at Leeds Arena for a motivational meet-up on what to expect when the world’s largest sporting event comes to Yorkshire.
The gathering was the first major Tour de France event for the 5,000 volunteers who will welcome millions of visitors when the Tour begins in July.
The event gave the Tour Makers their first significant insight into the roles and responsibilities they will undertake for the Yorkshire Grand Départ and the Tour de France journey through England to London.
And to help motivate the large crowd, key speakers attended the event, including Leeds’ own Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams as well as Tour legend Brian Robinson – the first British rider to finish the Tour de France in 1955 and the first to win a stage, in 1958.
It was capped by a rousing live performance by Alistair Griffin of The Road – the official anthem of Yorkshire’s Grand Départ.
Tour Maker AiLyn Tan, 43, said: “Now it’s just weeks to go the excitement is really building and we can’t wait to get started. There’s a real buzz and sense of anticipation around the whole county and it’s going to be a weekend to remember for every Tour Maker involved.”
Tour Makers have already been offered race day roles and locations. The next step will be for them to attend role-specific training sessions in June, where they will also pick up their uniforms, designed by Leeds-based supermarket Asda’s George brand.
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It was really incredible to see so many Tour Makers all together for the first time under one roof. The excitement and enthusiasm they all have for the Grand Départ is just brilliant and there’s no better group of people to welcome our millions of visitors than our Tour Makers.”
Tour Maker roles include route marshals, flag marshals and crossing marshals along the route. Volunteers will be allocated roles by the TdFHub2014Ltd. For more details, visit www.letouryorkshire.com.