Having only recently just made it back down to earth after my time as a volunteer Games Maker at the 2012 Olympic Games, as mentioned in an earlier blog post, I can honestly say that spending 2 weeks in London at the Olympic Park has totally inspired me in many different ways.
They tell you that an Olympic Games is a very emotional and unusual experience. Well I can confirm that it certainly is.
Even when people saw me outside of the Olympic Park in my uniform, they thanked me, shook my hand, and took my picture – it was amazing!
My Games Maker role was based at the Water Polo Arena. I worked with the public, checking tickets, providing information and showing them to their seats. Occasionally I worked backstage with the athletes, their families and VIPs.
During my 10 volunteer shifts at the arena, which holds 5,000 spectators, I got to see a number of matches of this fantastic sport, which I have to admit I hadn’t seen before.
I’ll never forget the Hungarian supporters. They were passionate and always full of voice. They didn’t like to sit in their allocated seat either, which made my day interesting.
The Olympic Stadium hosted the Athletics and I was fortunate enough to have a ticket for the men’s 100 metre final and the final of my preferred event, the steeplechase. The atmosphere on that night was electric, it was a real privilege to be there.
Being a Games Maker allowed me to enter the Olympic Park outside of my volunteer working hours. Some of us were lucky enough to get a free pass into some of the venues and I saw a great men’s hockey match.
Finally, back at the Water Polo, after the men’s gold medal match, we all had an opportunity to jump into the pool. So I took it!
Looking ahead, I’m fully committed to inspiring young people to get involved in my sport, which is athletics. I’ll be continuing to coach children at athletics clubs and in schools around the North East from September. I’ve also registered my interest in helping out at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Oh, and I’m taking part in the Great North Run half marathon with some work colleagues from Nonlinear Dynamics. For more information, please visit our Just Giving page.