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Diary of a Games volunteer - days 5 and 6

Day 5 began with chatting to 3 fellow volunteers on the train who were heading off to the Smithfield site, ready to welcome visitors to the beach volleyball. I was struck by the fact that it is quite possible that in non Games time, we are probably all on the same commuter train into Birmingham - and everyone keeps themselves to themselves. As part of the Commonwealth Collective, everyone stops to chat which is lovely. I also took the opportunity to have a walk around the centre of Birmingham in the early morning, before the crowds gathered - with another blue sky day, it was looking stunning, and our newest resident, The Bull, was already gathering some interest.

The badminton courts were my home for the day and by now all of us in the photo team seemed to know what we were doing - as did the photographers, so a smooth day all round. Lots more interesting people to chat to in my daily post work visit to the lake - including one volunteer who had managed to have a chat with The Countess of Wessex when they visited earlier in the week. He also seemed to have found a good spot to chat to all the netball teams as they walked from their team hotel to the arena each day.

Day 6 saw me starting in the Boxing - a new experience and lots of excitement in the crowd, with several medal matches throughout the morning. Being from Northern Ireland , it was also great to see the first medal ceremony I had been in which involved a Northern Irish medallist - the first of several in the boxing ring that day.

With boxing more than covered it was then off to the Table Tennis Hall and three medal matches. With a quick turn around needed between ,matches and ceremonies, it was good to understand more about what was needed by the media ... the photographers obviously wanted their photos of the winners, which the Photo Manager ensured they got ... but the TV cameras also need their coverage of the ceremony to be without random spectators wandering across the background ... some gentle moving of spectators was needed by the rest of us!

With the closing ceremony ahead this evening, we will all be reflecting on the potential legacy of the Games - which was so much more than just the Sport. Without doubt, Sport was at the centre as we all discovered sports we never knew we could be interested in and marvelled at the skill of the athletes - weightlifting, rhythmic gymnastics and beach volley ball were all new ones for me to watch live. As many of the banners say around the City #SportIsJustTheBeginnning. The festival sites at Victoria Square and Smithfield (including the acrobatics seen in this photo) brought a vibrancy and buzz to the City which was incredible.

More reflections to follow in due course - but for now the #orangearmy uniform has one last outing for the Commonwealth Collective Party on Wed evening ... and then maybe a note in the diary for when applications open for Paris 2024!

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Katie Dunlop
Katie Dunlop
24 ส.ค. 2565

Great blog, glad you got to get in all the sports at the NEC, I was worried some people would miss out! So pleased you had such a brilliant experience, we couldnt have done it without you and the other photo team volunteers. Press Ops definitely gets you close to the action!


09 ส.ค. 2565

For us spectators (and cheerers-on) a really interesting perspective on what life has been like on 'the other side' of Birmingham 2022. Thank you for keeping us on the inside track, Sharon. Well done to you and the other 13,999 volunteers who did such a cracking job to make the Games so successful.

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