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 :)