Life as a volunteer at the Commonwealth games
One of our staff from Apex International is working as a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games. He's decided to blog about his experiences whilst he's there (he's even taken Austin with him so expect some pics!). We'll be following Hamish (and Austin) on their adventures in Glasgow.
What's Hamish Doing as a Volunteer
I am staying in Glasgow this week whilst I volunteer at the Commonwealth Games. I am part of the Sport Information team and will be based mainly at the Athletes Village, where I will be on hand to help teams, athletes and officials to find out all the details they need about the Judo competition. Any questions they have about transport, timings or the competition itself, they come to us. We also like to chat with whoever pops in and there are some people who don't even have a question but come in to see us anyway. I will be blogging about my experiences for Apex International as they have so kindly given me the time off to attend the games. I will hopefully be sending some photos of Austin the duck having a good time in Glasgow along with my blogs.
As a breakfast waiter at Apex International, I am no stranger to an early morning; so as I rolled out of bed at 5am this morning, the familiar feeling of not quite being awake but having to get up struck me hard. It's never a pleasant feeling, getting up in the early hours but it soon became worthwhile. Arriving at the Athletes Village and checking in for your shift, you can already feel the atmosphere of excitement. The cheery faces in security and check in are a great way to get motivated for the day ahead. Walking through the Village towards the Sports Information Centre (SIC), I saw athletes, team officials, coaches and other Clydesiders like me; everyone says "Hello!" or "Good morning!" and you just can't help but smile and return the greeting. It's the atmosphere that really makes the village; even early in the morning there is a happy mood with a party-like buzz in the air.
The SIC opens at 7am but our first team official arrived long before then to ask some questions about the day's events. Throughout the morning, athletes and coaches came to check the details of their training, meetings and requirements for the competition. Of course, no day would be complete without an unusual request and today we were asked to find an athlete. This may seem like a straightforward task in the Athletes Village but it is much easier said than done. It took a while just to get in touch with the relevant people and then for them to track down our athlete but we did manage in the end. At the end of the shift, I made my way back through the now buzzing Village, again greeting everyone I passed, and headed back towards Glasgow.
Wearing the Clydesider uniform, everyone wants to talk to you, on the train, the bus or just on the streets, everybody wants to know what you are doing for the games and where you are from. This may just be the friendliness that Glaswegians are known for, but I think it probably has something to do with the good mood the city is in because of the games. The whole city is packed; every street, every train and every shop is full, all day. It's a great atmosphere in itself, as people are always happy to have a chat and a laugh. Wandering around the centre of the city all afternoon was great fun, and the nice weather helped the mood even more. So far my experiences in Glasgow have been fantastic, and I have met a huge number of different people from different countries and backgrounds and I can't wait for tomorrow to do it all over again.
It's here; today is the day that the Games really kick off, and you can tell. In the Village, the atmosphere has been upped another notch, and throughout the city there is a feeling of anticipation. The Opening Ceremony tonight is set to be a great evening and a real show of Glasgow's welcome to the world. For the volunteers, however, it was just another day at the office (and a busy one too).
Another early morning make sure that I was well and truly prepared for another day in the SIC. It started early again with team officials trying to check their bus schedules and appointments for the day. This carried on for most of the morning with the odd exception of just wanting a chat. Athletes were also in and out all day, looking for where they needed to be and when. A moment, which for me, emphasised the friendly nature of the games was when a couple of athletes who I had guided to get their kits sorted came in to say thank you. It may not seem like much, but the fact that they took time out of their busy day to say thank you really epitomised the games' sense of friendship and community. This is a key part of the organisers' message for the Games but it can really be seen in the way the athletes and the teams are conducting themselves.
Tonight promises to be a great evening, the Opening Ceremony should raise the excitement for the Games even more, the athletes will begin their final preparations, the competitions will start and the spectators will arrive in their thousands. The friendship amongst the volunteers is already beginning to show as a group of us are going out tonight to watch the ceremony and take in the atmosphere. Another fantastic day in Glasgow was topped off by the near tropical temperatures which have added even more to the atmosphere within the city.