During the summer of 2011 I thought that I would register my interest in being a volunteer for the 2012 Olympics. After an interview at the Excel Centre in the east of London and quite a considerable wait I was offered the role of Gamesmaker. Apparently over a quarter of a million applied and they selected around 70,000 to be Gamesmakers. Early in 2012 we had a days training, again in East London, on how to deal with people etc. Was good to meet other volunteers but looking back was a bit of a waste of time During the early Summer of this year I picked up my uniform from UDAC-Uniform Distribution Centre in West Ham. By the way you get to know many acronyms during your time as a volunteer. Just before the Olympics we were assigned our rosters and locations followed by a days training on site. I was allocated to the Royals team who were stationed on the Mall, with visits to Hampton Court Palace and Greenwich Park. Maybe my interest in cycling helped me to get these venues as we were to help with the Roadraces and the Time Trials. Also happening at the Mall were the Marathons and the Walking Races.
During my first few days I was posted on the t he north side of the Mall. We had to look after the media!! My first day I spent checking accreditations at the post race interview area. Not masses to do until the end of the race when it went a bit crazy with media people trying to get in to places that they weren't allowed. However the job did give me the opportunity to meet several superstars who now work for the media including Matt Pinsent, Chris Booardman and Matt Dawson.
One of the most intertesting moments for me was getting up close to Mark Cavendish after he had been beaten in the men's road race. (see Photo) He was absolutely gutted. Contrast that to the elation of many of our Gold medal winners. Give him full credit he did return after 15 minutes to talk to the press.
The best day was definitely helping out at Hampton Court where Bradley Wiggins was the gold medal hero. On the day we were checking tickets of the public. However when the race was on we were able to catch a view of the big screen. When Wiggo was out riding the atmosphere was very special and up there with other big sporting events that I have witnessed.
We also enjoyed our day at Greenwich Park, helping out at the Cross Country part of the 3 day eventing. We were split up in to teams to control the public crossing points of the cross country. A bit hary when we were still letting the public cross as a horse and rider were only 50 yards away. We were so lucky that the weather was great and the crowds were so friendly. Thanks to anonymous members of the public who gave us doughnuts and chips to keep us going on a long day.
Member since: 9th July 2012
Hi, We are Phil and Gill Chappell. We own the Best of Henley-on-Thames. We live in Henley so would love to hear your views and opinions about all things Henley.