Saturday, 30 May 2015

London Youth Games 2015

One motto I hope my children will take with them is "Take every opportunity that comes to you as you will regret it if you didn't."

Today was one such opportunity when I received an email from the Delightful Mrs S who is a dyed in the wool technophobe, in the email it read:

"Next Thursday on 4 June, the London Youth Games are hosting the Para Games Swimming Competition at the Beckenham Spa in Bromley. With over 170 para athletes due to attend it should be a great day.  However, the London Youth Games organisers still need volunteers for key roles including timekeepers, marshals, medal coordinators and people to record results."

I jumped at the chance and wrote an email to London Youth Games outlining telling them of my experience at London 2012 as a Games Maker working in Anti-Doping in both the Olympic and Paralympics, I think I may have over-egged the cake but I really wanted to show them that I had some experience both in volunteering in a large sporting event but also had quite a responsible role. This is part of what I wrote which was pretty good I think for the time I took to complete it:

"...I was a Games Maker in the London 2012 Olympics and worked as a Doping Chaperone responsible for selecting and taking athletes from the field of play to the Doping Centre. I worked at the North Greenwich Arena (O2) during the Gymnastics, WheelChair Basketball and moved to assist in Goalball at the Copper Box Arena for the day so have good experience with para-athletes.

I also run for Petts Wood Runners and an ultramarathon runner covering distances from 50 miles to 100 miles, I am an experienced race organiser and have worked from Race Sweeper, Marshall and have done some timekeeping..."

Every 10 minutes that day I checked my email and was excited to receive an email at 4.55pm saying that they were offering a job for the day and I was really blown away when I discovered that wanted me to be a Timekeeper with an early start that included training and breakfast. The young people who are taking part are from all over London Races will have a mix of impairments (functional; visual; and hearing/ learning) and are aged between 6 and 19 years. 

My work have been really great as they have agreed that I can take the time as "Volunteer Leave" which each member of staff has a quota of 21 hours a year and as some of the competitors are from Lambeth (the area I work in) these hours valid. 

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