I always said that I wanted to be a part of Glasgow 2014, even before the euphoria of London 2012 grasped the nation. However, it was only a chance comment by a friend that I realised that there were pre-games volunteer positions.
By the end of 2013 I had been interviewed and accepted for two ‘Frontrunner’ roles. One was ‘protocol’ and the other was ‘interviewer/trainer’. Straight away I was caught up in the energy & enthusiasm displayed by my fellow volunteers. There was a training day in March 2013 for the interviewer position and discovered that we were from all different walks of life and experiences.
From April 2013 to December 2013 over 20,000 prospective Clyde-siders were interviewed. It was a humbling experience a lot of the time. To hear what people have accomplished in their life and what they have contributed to local clubs, teams and organisations over sometimes decades of selfless volunteering.
During the summer of 2013 I was also a protocol frontrunner for a week and assisted with the General Assembly for the Commonwealth Games Federation. I participated in meet & greets at Glasgow airport, way finding for a dinner at City Chambers and cheered for Clyde when he arrived via speedboat at the Riverside Museum for the reveal of the Queen’s Baton Relay.
When the interviewing came to an end it was time to start training the 15,000 successful Clyde-siders. It was exhilarating to be co-presenting to of groups of 120+.
Then last, but certainly not least, I was a Clyde-sider for 3 weeks. I was based at the Games Family Hotel. This is where representatives of all the Commonwealth Games Associations, the Commonwealth Games Federation along with various other VIPs were staying.
The team I was working on was Medal Ceremonies; we ensured that for every medal ceremony (261 over the 11 days) there was a medal presenter and a gift presenter. It was exhilarating, hectic, fun filled, stressful and lots of other adjectives!
I was honoured to work with some amazing people including fellow volunteers, members of Glasgow 2014 staff and the team from the Commonwealth Games Federation.
From a spectator perspective I experienced 40,000 people in Ibrox chant ‘Uganda’ at the Rugby 7’s, I was treated to VIP hospitality at Hampden for the athletics and I saw Kirsty Gilmour win her Silver medal at Badminton.
I don’t like to say that it was a once in a lifetime experience as I would hope to be able to do something similar again in the future, however I do feel that it would be hard to replicate the buzz of the city and feel good factor that seemed to be radiating off everybody.
From a personal perspective I feel blessed that I had a supportive manager a team that allowed me to take time off work. The experience has also given me a boost in my confidence of what I personally can achieve and what people together can accomplish and, as has been said by a better person than I, it was “pure, dead brilliant”!
Written by our guest blogger Kirstie MacKenzie
Human Resource Manager, Trump Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort