I was at Greenwich on Tuesday watching TeamGB win the Olympic Dressage. The whole day was pretty amazing, but one thing I hadn’t expected was how good the volunteer Games Makers were.
the BBC’s Clare Balding leaves Greenwich at the same time as the Games Makers (pic from her twitter)
There were literally hundreds of them just in Greenwich – directing us from the station, making sure we crossed the road safely, checking our tickets, telling us to be careful on the stairs and showing us to our seats. We could see more purple shirts moving the dressage boards every time a new rider came into the arena, looking after the assembled photographers and even scooping up after the horses answered an urgent call of nature.
They were ALL polite, helpful, enthusiastic, cheerful, funny – and themselves. From the lads gently taking the mic of the armed forces nearby and encouraging us to ‘hup two three four’ down the stairs to the ticket checkers telling us what great seats we had, individual personalities were shining through. I was told to “have a great day” dozens of times, but on every occasion it felt different and like the Games Maker actually meant it.
Don’t forget that these are all volunteers, who had given up their time not only to be there for their shifts but also for training. And what training it must have been. McDonalds are supposed to have been instrumental in helping deliver the training but to be honest, I’ve never met a McDonalds employee as good as the Games Makers at Greenwich. My friend Shehnaz (who doesn’t work for McDonalds) has been involved in delivering Games Maker training as well as being a Games Maker herself, so I’m hoping she’ll do a guest post for us sharing how they approached getting 70,000 people up to speed. Watch this space.
Incidentally, pretty much all of the above could also be said for everyone from the Army and Navy who were handling security at Greenwich and were also all lovely. It’s certainly the first time I’ve had the Navy merrily wish me good morning :)
4 thoughts on “Games Makers really deliver”
I totally agree, loved the volunteers!
And didn’t the volunteers all get wonderful applause at the closing ceremony last night? It was good that they were acknowledged.
I agree with most of the above, however having visited Greenwich, Wimbledon and Stratford and found their knowledge of the train stations lacking as I was forced to walk around Stratford station for no reason and at Greenwich they tried to make me walk 20 minutes down the road when all I needed to do was walk to the mainland station then around to the DLR. Luckily I didn’t listen to their instructions at Greenwich and found them to be total jobsworths when I ignored their “advice”. Total overkill of “games makers” and totally patronising to be told when to cross the road by a middle eastern chap with a lolly pop. There were actually less people at these stations (except Stratford) that you get on regular week days anyway!! Because I watch the Olympics I can suddenly not read signs or walk 10 metres without killing myself?