On the 31st of May 2013, I had my interview to be a volunteer at the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games. Over 50,000 people applied to be one of the 15,000 volunteers. By the beginning of July 2014, I’d found out that I would be working with the Press Operations department as a Tribune Team Member in the SSE Hydro during the Gymnastics.
Over the course of the year and a bit, from the interview to the Games beginning I went to all the training, from orientation to venue specific training. I picked up my uniform and accreditation and took my first plunge on the subway! All of which has led me to having the best nine days of my life.
Tribunes are the areas where members of the world’s media sit to watch the competition. In the Hydro, we had it divided into three areas, print and broadcast seating areas, broadcast commentary and print tribunes for journalists wanting to use their computers. It was our team that looked after the journalists and made sure they had everything they needed.
After the first couple of days trying to navigate my way around The Hydro I soon found my rhythm and began to enjoy what I was doing. Everybody will think their team is the best, but I guarantee you, I had the best team of people in the entire SECC Precinct.
I don’t really know where to begin to start describing the people I’ve been working with so closely. Some of them are absolutely nuts – in a fantastic way, but still nuts! (Sarah, I’m talking to you!) Other people, such as Hannah, Michelle, Esther and Kat all made it one big fun team. Barb – my very Canadian manager, brought us all together and joined in on some of the fun too!
I feel like I’m missing someone out – ah yeah, Dani. I’ve never quite met anyone like her before – in fact the thought of more than one of her out in the world slightly scares me! But she is the most awesome person I’ve met in a long time and I truly hope our friendship extends beyond the Games. AND as cheesy as it sounds, meeting her made my entire Games journey worth it.
We were based in the gymnastics competition from the beginning of rhythmic to the end of artistic. My gymnastics knowledge has soared. For example, during artistic gymnastics, men do 6 apparatus – floor, rings, parallel bars, high bar, pommel horse and vault, whereas women only do 4 – floor, vault, beam and uneven bars. Getting to see Dan Keatings and Dan Purvis win gold, then hear Flower of Scotland belted out across The Hydro was truly an inspiring moment.
All in all getting to be a volunteer at a home games may be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands. It’s an experience I will remember and memories I can pass down to my kids and nieces and nephews. Glasgow 2014 has inspired me to want to volunteer at other things, but it’s inspired me more to eventually play bowls for Scotland. Perhaps I’ll be competing in the Gold Coast, if not, I wouldn’t mind volunteering again.