Saturday 18 February 2012

Being inspired

Today has been exciting and fun.

I have had the first of my Games Maker training sessions: the orientation session. Along with 10,000 other volunteers, who will be doing a whole medley of roles during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I got to spend three hours being mentally prepared for what will come.

The excitement builds.

While I can't go into detail on the specifics of the training, let's just say that there was a lasting impression we all left with: inspiration. Part of our role is to inspire: positivity, teamwork, openness, diversity, culture, London and the UK. We are the faces that welcome athletes, spectators, delegates, sponsors and fellow workers at the Games. We have the chance to make our mark and leave a lasting impression.

It's inspirational stuff, and what I realised today was how inspiration works both ways; how the part we play, no matter how small, makes a difference to those competing on sport's greatest stage.

I would have thought that there was no greater inspiration needed than fulfilling the dream of standing on the podium with an Olympic gold around your neck. But there are other factors involved in all of this: the crowd, the assistance with accreditation, getting about, food, results, interviews. So many aspects of the Games, and within each sport, are in the hands of the volunteers. You feel special too, when athletes speak about their experiences and the importance of the volunteers at the Games. One volunteer, who thought and acted quickly, saved one swimmer a huge embarrassment just before their race. They went on to win gold.

It's a humbling feeling. But exciting and thrilling as well. The eyes of the world won't be turned on us exactly. Most will be being inspired by the antics and heroics on the tracks, roads, fields, pools, water, pitches.

But we will be there. As part of it. Making it happen. Inspiring, in our own small way.

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