Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Volunteering at the London 2012 Olympics

My name is Kathryn Taylor Saunders, and during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games I was a volunteer Gamesmaker.

My role was in the Event Services Team, the largest group of volunteers. I was assigned to the Greenwich Park venue where Equestrian, Modern Pentathlon and Paralympic Equestrian competition took place. As Greenwich Park doesn’t usually host sporting events the arena plus all of the concessions stands had to be specially constructed. The views from the top of the stands across London were spectacular, on a clear day the Olympic Stadium in Stratford could be seen.

My duties ranged from scanning tickets to directing spectators to re-uniting lost children and parents. I found working in the accessible viewing areas and with visitors with mobility difficulties particularly rewarding. Pushing wheelchairs and helping spectators to their seats all day was very physically tiring – a complete contrast to sitting down in the office in Dunton all day!

The best part of being a Gamesmaker for me was the reaction from the media and the public as it was so overwhelmingly positive.

I was often asked to describe what being a London 2012 volunteer was like, I think it is best summed up as exhausting and exhilarating.

I was thrilled and honoured to be selected to take part in the three medal ceremonies on the very last day of competition at Greenwich Park. This was a fantastic way to end an amazing experience, one which I will cherish for a lifetime.