Olympic Volunteering

Three Glasgow Life employees were fortunate enough to be involved in the Games Maker programme for the Olympic Games. Jill O’Neil, Carol Still and Steven Coulter volunteered within non traditional Olympic sports, each taking on very different roles and contributed to what was ‘the best Olympic Games ever’. Here’s how they got on.

What was Jill's role? 

Badminton Development Officer, Jill O’Neil, was Team Leader, working within the Athlete Services team with the Badminton competition, in Wembley Arena. 

Jill’s main role was to enforce Rule 50, the management of clothing and equipment branding and sponsorship. Based in the call room between the final warm up court and the playing area, Jill ensured all athletes clothing and equipment branding was in line with the Games regulations. 

Jill recalls her best moment – being involved in the men’s singles final between Lin Don (CHN) and Lee Chung Wei (MAL). “I got to meet the players and witness their final” Jill said, “both players are great mates and were relaxed and chatting away before the match. When Dan won the match he ripped his top off and did a lap of the arena while Wei looked devastated. It was incredible to experience that emotion first hand!”  

As well as picking up training drills and practices to take back to her Badminton Development role in Glasgow, Jill was really impressed with the spirit of the Games makers and how enthused, motivated and excited they were, no matter how small the role was. 

Last Mile Way Finder

Carol Still, a Glasgow Sport Administration Assistant from Glasgow Club Bellahouston was a ‘Last mile Way finder’ based at Wimbledon for the Tennis event. 

Her role was to inform people about the tennis, who was playing and to direct people to their chosen court. “I didn’t have the most exciting role during the Olympics” Carol recalls, “but because of the training and the right people around me, I had a great experience.” 

Carol’s most enjoyable moment was early one morning, standing at the top of Wimbledon Hill Road directing spectators to the venue, “I was overwhelmed by the response from the crowd” Carol tells us, “There were lots of high fives as people were happy to stop and chat. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day, I was happy and smiley and projected this to the crowd. I hope I was able to enhance some people’s experience that morning”. 

Wembley Stadium

Over at Wembley Stadium, Club and Volunteer Development Officer, Steven Coulter was Workforce Operations Team Leader for the Football competition. 

Steven led a team of 6-8 people who looked after the full volunteer workforce at the stadium. “My team ensured that the workforce had their meal tickets, knew their shifts and received reward and recognition items throughout the Games.” Steven told us. He went on to say “I loved my role as I was the person providing the important things that really do matter when working with volunteers, keeping them fed, watered and generally looking after them”. 

Steven’s most rewarding moment was when the Cadbury’s chocolate delivery came. “The team and I were tasked with taking buckets of chocolate around the full stadium of volunteers. We got an unbelievable response from them, all diving in to get some; we felt like heroes!”

What they learnt

An important lesson that Glasgow can learn from London relates to volunteer training. The task for Glasgow is to make volunteering more attractive to people from out with Glasgow and more manageable for those involved. Jill suggests “Training for volunteers is essential; however Glasgow should look at opportunities to make training easy to access and time friendly. Perhaps regionalised training might be suitable for our international volunteers.” 

Thinking forward, Jill would love to think that Glasgow 2014 can emulate the success of the London 2012, “If Glasgow can’t do it now, when can we?!” Steven said “the Olympics has provided an awesome spectacle this summer and Glasgow can learn from London and make our Games the best Commonwealth Games there has ever been. We have two years to go so let the hard work begin!”

Volunteers will play a huge and extremely important part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. If this story has inspired you to get involved with the Games then please go to www.glasgow2014.com to find out more?  

If you would like to find out more information about how you can get involved now as a volunteer in Glasgow please visit the Glasgow Sport website at http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/sport/club-coaching-volunteering/volunteering/Pages/home.aspx or contact us on 0141 287 5811.  

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