Commonwealth Games Volunteering Birmingham 2022
The Commonwealth Games has been an incredible experience. I was part of the Medal Ceremonies Team, which included these roles:
Athlete Escort – Preparing and coordinating athletes to receive their medals before escorting them to and from the podium.
Medal and Gift Bearer – Assisting with carrying the correctly laid out medals and gifts to the award-winning athletes on the podium.
Back-of-House Support Team Member – Helping overseeing the smooth and timely running of events as well as preparing the correctly laid out medal trays.
There were 24 in our team but that didn’t include the MOD who we worked alongside. I never thought a group of people could get on so well. It’s like we had known each other for years. We have left staying friends and have a WhatsApp group which is always going off!
Being backstage I saw athletes coming back from the podium. They would take off their kits and swap them with the athletes from different countries. They were also swapping numbers and calling each other friends. I was asked by some athletes if I could film or take photos of their medal ceremonies on their phones.
Being a Stratford AC Coach and Official my most memorable moment was being part of our Andrew Pozzi’s medal Ceremony. I presented the tray with his bronze medal and mascot!
When we didn’t have any ceremonies we would watch the athletics on the track. I would have to say the atmosphere was amazing! If you get a chance to volunteer at major competition like it, I would recommend it. I would definitely go for it again!
Volunteering at a large event can be very daunting but also very rewarding.
My role was with ‘Athlete Services’. We were responsible for making sure that the athletes were able to use the warm up track safely, Access from warm up, through ‘Call Room’ to the stadium was problem free. Making sure that they entered and exited the ‘mixed zone’ the correct way. Be aware of unauthorized people trying to enter the athlete corridor which takes them to ‘Anti-doping’ and ‘Post Event Control’.
There was around 60 of us in the team, 30 doing the morning session and the same in the evening. Although we didn’t get to see a lot of the events trackside. There were plenty of TV screens within the areas I mentioned that we could watch.
The 4.30am alarm was a shock to the system. But I had to be at the Alexandra Stadium for 7am. Car to Dorridge to catch the train to Moor St, followed by a short walk to catch the shuttle bus direct to the Stadium. The positive response we had from the fans reinforced how much volunteers are valued at such events and how important they are at grass roots level.
As a Stratford AC official, former coach and age group leader for many years, the highlight of the week was sharing in the celebrations of our very own Andrew Pozzi, winning a deserved medal.
Wow, what a week! An unforgettable, once in a lifetime, experience.
I have just finished my Commonwealth Games volunteering as a member of the Commonwealth Collective in the (now magnificent) Alexander Stadium. My role was a Production Runner for the team who produce the whole show, to make the experience as rich as possible for the audience.
I helped in many ways: from looking after Radzi Chinyanganya, Iwan Thomas & Kadeena Cox, ensuring they were fed and watered, to running scripts and paperwork up to the presenters, Kris Temple & Geoff Wightman (dad to Jake, world 1500m champion). I also got to catch ‘Aerial Perry’ and lead him back safely around the track to his home, deep inside the west stand. When I had time out, I was able to watch the athletics action from either the balcony or the tunnel and got to see all the dignitaries and athletes getting ready for their medal ceremonies. That’s where I caught up with our very own Andy Pozzi for a chat and a cheeky photo or 2.
Standing within touching distance of Seb Coe, one of my childhood favourites, and KJT was a highlight too. I had to pinch myself to check it was all still real!
This, of course, would not have all been possible without my volunteering experience at Stratford AC. Paul approached me when my eldest children were only in the U11’s and asked if I could help out at the club and I’m an assistant coach and UK Athletics timekeeper and have been for several years..
Stratford AC is a fantastic, inclusive family club and it has been a joy to be part of it over the years; so rewarding and not onerous at all. You can do as little or as much as you’d like, you may need to go on a course to make it all official but then again you get to meet some lovely people who are also passionate about sport.
Get involved, it’s worth it, look what I got to do!!!
So my Commonwealth Games story couldn’t be any different from the others.
I did stress at interview, that I love athletics etc and I’m one of the club’s timekeepers but I was placed in Event Services at Leamington for the Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn bowls.
The experience was so amazing but compared to other venues, really low key and quite chilled. I was mainly on meet and greet or information services in the Plaza, where I got to meet lots of lovely people and bowls athletes.
I also did a 12 hour shift in Warwick at the Cycle race and again that was completely different. I watched the whole race from the disability platform in the start/ finish straight making sure the platform wasn’t abused with such good views.
Overall, it was a wonderful if not exhausting experience and I would volunteer again for something on this scale.