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  • sharonbell0

Diary of a Games volunteer - days 1 and 2

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

Volunteering day 1, was mostly about finding my way around .... working on the media team means that my pass allows me access to numerous areas. All very well but sometimes it would be handy if someone stopped me and said I wasn't allowed in a particular area! Security navigated, and workforce 'check-in' process complete, I reported to the Venue Media Centre, ready to find out about the life of a photo team member! My first shift started early afternoon and so the NEC venue was buzzing both with volunteers and spectators by the time I got there. My role involves ensuring the accredited press are taking their photos from the correct spots in the venues - and ensuring no one tries to sit in those areas if they aren't supposed to. If a photographer tries to be a little too creative with their interpretation of the rules then we intervene.

Because of where we are positioned we get quite a unique view of proceedings - the officials, the medal ceremonies, the raising of the flags, the production team ... as well as the sport!

On my first couple of shifts I have spent time both in weightlifting and badminton. Other possibilities later in the week could be table tennis and boxing. It's interesting that in some events, the road to a medal takes place over several rounds and several days - in others, eg. weightlifting , two hours and the medals have been awarded.

A few reflections on days 1 and 2:

  • It takes an army of staff and volunteers to put on a large scale sporting event - and the number of technical officials is incredible

  • Weightlifting is more tactical than I ever knew (and actually quite addictive!)

  • The determination and the commitment of the athletes is inspirational

  • I sit down far too much in the day job - and can definitely feel it the next morning after standing for so many hours in this role

  • I need to find the ice cream van ... I disappointed one young visitor by not having seen one on site when he asked me ... I will go on a hunt tomorrow!


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