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  • sharonbell0

It's Games time - Birmingham 2022 is here!

The sporting action - and visitors from far and wide have come to the City. Over the last few weeks the City has been transformed with colour appearing everywhere, linking together the various sites. Somewhere along the line I applied to be part of the Commonwealth Collective one f - I was interested to be more closely involved in the something so important to the City which has become my home ... and also really interested to see something of what happens behind the scenes of a major sporting event.

Last night the eyes of the Commonwealth were on the host city for 2022, and the opening ceremony at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.


The sporting action has begun - and visitors from far and wide have come to the City. Over the last few weeks the City has been transformed with colour appearing everywhere, linking together the various sites. Somewhere along the line I applied to be part of the Commonwealth Collective one of 14,000 volunteers helping with the event in a variety of roles. I was interested to be more closely involved in the something so important to the City which has become my home ... and also really intrigued to see something of what happens behind the scenes of a major sporting event.


I am a member of the Media Operations Team, based at the NEC - specifically the Photo Team. I think that means (!) welcoming the photographers and ensuring they have the prime photos spots (and that they have the accreditation to access them). It was really interesting attending role training a couple of weeks ago and getting an insight into how media is managed for a large-scale sporting event. I will know more after the first shift tomorrow. No doubt there will be a few sightings of Perry along the way as he seems to be popping up all of the City!


As I go through my journey will The Collective I thought I would make a note of a few reflections along the way:

  • The enthusiasm of the volunteers in the Commonwealth Collective is incredible - all so excited and willing to help out anyone volunteering who is new to Birmingham or just a little unsure.

  • It seems that once you have been on team for one large scale sporting event you are hooked. So many people I have met already volunteered at London 2012 or Glasgow 2014 ... watch out Paris 2024!

  • It's an unwritten rule you chat to anyone in uniform - I love seeing the range of roles people have volunteered for. The Games haven't started yet and I have met such a range including drivers, hotel hosts, accreditation centre team members and a dentist - when you think about it, very logical for the Boxing!

  • It's a huge task to get enable 14,000 + volunteers to understand the vision and the ethos of the Games - thank goodness for e-learning platforms!

  • It appears that 'pin swapping is a (very big) thing. Hasty order placed on amazon for some pin badges from my home country (Northern Ireland). It felt that without them I may be missing vital currency!

  • And finally for now (!) you have to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way - so when the call came out to the volunteers for stand in athletes, for the opening ceremony rehearsal, I was there. There may have been torrential rain for a good chunk of the evening, and alot of standing around - but it was great fun hanging out with my adopted team members, and I got to be the flag bearer for Trinidad and Tobago ... no prizes for guessing which pin badge I would like to track down at the Games!






Watch out for a couple more blogs during Games time!

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