After a few false starts in Hastings, a caravan in Chichester seems at first a good idea then transforms into an eleven week booking. Sometimes you just have to go for it!
To Wembley Arena for orientation training. Decide to drive and leave Scotland as near 7am as possible.
I don’t mind long drives especially when the road is empty and the hotel has a swimming pool. Both boxes ticked. Flurries of snow follow us all the way to London.
Orientation training is designed to give background to the Olympics and Paralympics and the part Games Makers have in the grand scheme of things. There are also reminders of the strength of the London bid with a short rerun of some of the aspects of their presentation.
One of the defining factors in London winning the Games is the DIVERSITY element.
No one can argue with that. It’s a truly awesome place. I’ve always loved London.
There are nearly 10,000 Games Makers at each of the four three-hour sessions over the weekend, but it still manages to feel like being part of a family, the Olympic Family. Magnificent.
Jonathan Edwards is hosting the event and there are gasps of delight and much swooning as he appears onstage, svelte, uber-cool and snappily dressed. The women in the audience are making even more noise.
Eddie Izzard is the highlight of the session; he’s hilarious, of course and is the cheerleader for
I DO ACT
Behave in a way that inspires others INSPIRATIONAL
Let yourself shine through DISTICTIVE
Be approachable and honest to people OPEN
You are the host, so be aware of people’s needs ALERT
Welcome everybody as an individual CONSISTENT
Be part of the
You’re central to a united team – make your mark TEAM
Well you couldn’t come out of a meeting like that without being fired up. What a three hours. I leave London elated.
To London Fields, Hackney - for role specific training
In another life, if someone had opened with a sentence which included the phrase "exceptional hosting", I would already have been north of planet Elsewhere.
Not today though. Listening to what was expected of Games Makers I was hooked. Line and sinker as well. Looking round the room and soaking in the ethos, there was nowhere on earth I’d rather have been at that moment.
Sydney 2000 had set the standard for hosting. The Volunteers made Sydney the best ever Games. I think we can do better than that. I wouldn’t want to let Eddie Izzard down, nor Boris.
Training in Hackney over, I then achieved another lifetime ambition, taking a red London bus to Brick Lane for a curry. Whitechapel, you rock.
The "shifts" have arrived, and I’m starting at milk delivery time on June 28, five days a week.
Sometimes the shifts start very early, sometimes they end very late. If a plane is delayed, the shifts may end very early in the morning! Then it’ll soon be time for the next shift to start.
For relaxation that’s when I’ll search out a Sussex country pub where the talk is still of repelling Hitler, the ale pulled out of casks named Spitfire and there is the comforting sound of leather on willow wafting from the Downs. Nearly forgot about the lady on the bicycle with her bacon rations (see
The Great Political Speeches of John Major, of which there were few).
Looking at the roster, the first date I search out is August 5, the day of the women’s marathon and I’m hoping to go into London to watch my hero (she’s American, she’s fast, she’s Kara Goucher!!) , but I’m working on that day. It’s terrible how work gets in the way of pleasure!
Canning Town E15 for more accreditation training and to pick up the uniform. Included in the wardrobe is a rather nice pair of Adidas trainers and a watch.
The rainproof jacket wouldn’t look out of place on the sleeve of Sgt Pepper's and it makes me feel like the one and only Billy Shears while I’m being fitted. Natty it is.
Following each training session in London it is becoming more apparent of the vastness of scale in hosting the Olympics. There is a workforce, including Games Maker Volunteers, of 250000 and the backroom organisation is immense. It’s a fantastic feeling being part of this event.
Oh, and there's a neat piece of dressmaking on the jacket. A section of the back tears off and the jacket becomes a Paralympics jacket. Class. Not only did London win the games on DIVERSITY, it also won on SUSTAINABILITY. What a town!
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