Barry Brough, CP Sport fundraiser, volunteered as a Games Maker at the Olympics – read all about his experience below.
My Olympic Journey
I first showed an interest in volunteering for the Games just after we won the bid in 2005 along with one million others. Then I formally applied completing the application process along with 250,000 others. Finally I attended an interview at Excel in February 2011 and awaited the outcome of this interview, which arrived in September 2011 stating that I was being offered a role in the Olympic Family Services Team as an Olympic Family Assistant, which would include personal assistance, and driving for a dedicated client.
Training commenced for all 70,000 volunteers in early 2012 with Orientation training at Wembley arena, which gave an overview of what being a Games Maker was all about which was presented by John Inverdale and LOCOG chairman Paul Deighton. Then Role Specific training was carried out in March at Hackney College informing us what was expected of an Olympic Family Assistant. Following on from that there were security checks and driving licence checks, interactive testing of driving knowledge and then finally in May 2012 two days of familiarisation training with the BMW cars. The first day covered procedures, the specialised Sat Nav system for the Olympic Route Network and observation by a qualified instructor to see if we were up to standard in our driving ability. The second day allowed us to drive, taking turns in groups of four, to drive to various Olympic venues and an additional training day was arranged so that we could familiarise ourselves more fully with the cars on an individual basis. I then had to collect my uniform and accreditation from the UDAC centre in East London, now having my uniform it really seemed like it was really about to happen! I was informed on 27th June that my client would be IOC Executive Board Member Mr Frank Fredericks, of Namibia, who is known by many as Frankie Fredericks the 100 & 200 metres sprinter. He has 4 silver medals from the Atlanta & Barcelona Olympic Games and still holds the 200 metre indoor World record. Apart from his IOC duties he also runs his foundation in Namibia for budding athletes, which not only hones their athletic skills but also gives them a grounding in business studies.
Finally the day comes July 19th 2012, to take up my Olympic duties. I am based at Fleet Depot Park Lane with my workforce check in area being at the Marriott Hotel, Grovesnor Square. I have to await my client to contact me and for the first two days am gaining extra knowledge of venues and the operation of the Sat Nav system. I was activated on the Saturday with a request by the client to pick up his wife and family from the airport, for the rest of this week my duties were mainly to drive his family around to cultural events, as my client was tied up in official meetings, and then himself and his wife to various pre Olympic functions in the evening. I was lucky enough to be selected to attend the technical rehearsal of the opening ceremony on Wednesday 25th July, which happened to be my day off from my duties; this was an amazing event with, obviously, some of the more surprise elements omitted.