It all started with London 2012… I was clearly young & silly… I really, really, really, should have volunteered for the London 2012 games – but I didn’t and I can’t change that history. It was a marvellous event for the Capital (and the wider UK in my opinion) but I wasn’t part of it… and I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice!
I actually did a bit of volunteering off the back of the London Games, completely unrelated to sports… I got involved in the Festival at Queen’s University and quite enjoyed that. I then volunteered at the World Police & Fire Games in Belfast and, quite enjoyed that too!
Then came the opportunity to volunteer at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. There was no way I wasn’t applying for that! And so I did and, here I am on a particularly damp Saturday evening in Glasgow. I’ve just completed a portion of my training (venue specific) and I’m due to complete my training and accreditation in the next couple of days.
Day 1 in Glasgow hasn’t been straight forward at all… my well laid plans to get the bus to the city centre & taxi it to my accommodation before heading to my training, was lain to waste by firstly not seeing the sign for the ‘fast’ bus… to be followed up by the driver on the ‘slow’ bus dropping me off “5 minutes walk” from the venue (when in fact what he meant was a “5 minute wait at a bus stop, another bus journey (5 minutes) and then a 5 minute walk”… compounded by the second bus driver not knowing that his route passed by the venue at all (a passenger corrected him on his route!)!
I also noticed on my walk to my accommodation after the event how little information there is on Glasgow Bus Stop signs… in London you get a local area map to give you a view. You could walk from one end of London to the other on them! Not in Glasgow!
I ended up at my training with my luggage, which was to be fair, not as big a hassle as it could have been thanks to the decent folks there.
As it happens, I’m a volunteer at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre where the Table Tennis tournament is taking place (the Squash will also be there, but I’m specifically assigned to the ping pong. It’s also the venue of the Athletics Training Track (which we’ve been specifically told we will not go anywhere near).
Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Glasgow – Image from Google Search
So transport difficulties behind me, my venue training involved a bit of Health & Safety, a bit of a tour and a bit more detail around what I will be doing at the venue. Our lunch room overlooks the training track, so you never know, I might just see Bolt going through his warm up!
The one thing I think will work really well here will be the venues. The Scotstoun will look fabulous – the glass box, squash court (which will be used for the big matches & the finals) looks out of this world.
I will probably update this blog regularly over the next few days as I work my way through the experience of volunteering at the Commonwealth Games. It’s a ‘pure dead brilliant’ opportunity to get involved in a global event in (what would have been) my back yard.
The one sour note (so far) has been that my cousin Kelly (who runs for Australia) has had to withdraw from their squad due to an injury. It is part of the sport she participates in, unfortunately, but I’m sure she’ll come back stronger… and judging by the weather today, she’ll definitely enjoy Rio a bit more!