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Diary of a Games volunteer - days 3 & 4

Emily Campbell on her way to a gold medal

Day 3 started a little differently as I got to my shift via public transport. As part of Birmingham 2022’s commitment to being the most sustainable Games, volunteers (and ticket holders) are strongly encouraged to use public transport (for free). Whilst using the train in itself isn’t very unusual, what was, was the number of people who spoke to me and asked me what role I was doing (as well as the best way to various venues!). It seems that the orange uniform is quite a conversation starter! The second train was packed and one visitor asked if I could arrange for some extra carriages to be put on - he had a laugh when I said I thought it was beyond the scope of the Photo Team!

My sport of the day was table tennis - I swapped venues with another volunteer for the day as it’s a game I play. Well I say play, but seeing the speed of the players made me think I have a way to go. It was the team medal matches so a high standard which was great, and a medal ceremony for extra interest. With it being a medal match it was busy on the photo benches - and a couple of the photographers pushing their luck a bit with an interesting interpretation of the rules! Little did they know that as we rotated positions we had exchanged their bib numbers - we were watching them. It did make for some entertaining banter between the photo team.

Day 4 was back to badminton for the qualifying rounds - but rostered in well before that started, I was able to look after a photo position in weightlifting for an hour. The atmosphere was incredible and I was able to see part of Emily Campbells gold medal winning session. The photo team have declared weightlifting the most surprising sport of the Games at the NEC - it seems we have all become experts! It was all a bit quieter back in the badminton hall for the day. With it being the qualifiers, less interest from the photographers in these rounds although some of the players still had some enthusiastic supporters with them - especially Sam Ricketts from Barbados who is apparently a Warwick Uni student and so had quite a home following too , who had all become adopted Barbados flag carriers for the day.

One of the highlights for me of the Games is seeing so many nationalities descend upon the region - each day I have been at the NEC I have made a habit of taking a walk around the fan zone and having a short sit by the lake - because each time you inevitably strike up a conversation with a visitor. Today's was an official from the Nigeria team, and it was lovely to have a chat with her. In disappointing news I finally found the 'real Perry' but his chaperone said he was too busy for a photo as he was late to badminton! I need to do better tomorrow or my nieces in Australia will be very disappointed!


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