Hundreds of excited Glasgow 2014 volunteers have pulled on their uniforms for the first time – and started preparing for Scotland’s biggest-ever sporting and cultural festival.
A major tranche of clyde-siders arrived for duty at their venues this week with thousands more due to begin between now and the start of the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, July 23.
A record breaking 50,811 people applied for up to 15,000 coveted clyde-sider roles with Glasgow 2014. The entire workforce has come together from across Scotland, the UK and beyond. They have Games Time roles as diverse as spectator services, press operations, anti-doping, protocol and transport but collectively they are the smiling face of the Games.
As well as providing support for the Games at sports venues and the Athletes Village, there are also clyde-siders at Glasgow Airport meeting and greeting athletes and dignitaries as they arrive.
All clyde-siders have completed several days of training ahead of taking on their roles, with each due to carry out a minimum of eight shifts over a three-week period. Some will do much more than this.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of Glasgow 2014, met up with some clyde-siders today.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of Glasgow 2014, said:
“The thousands of volunteers who are giving up their time and commitment to become clyde-siders are the people who will make these Games great. They are the friendly faces of the Games, the first point of contact for many athletes, spectators and visitors.
“It is great to see them arriving to take up their duties and I hope every one of them enjoys fully the experience of being part of the Commonwealth Games.”
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said:
“The Clyde-siders will be a hugely important part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, helping to deliver a successful event. People’s desire to be part of the Games in this way was evident in the record numbers who applied to be a volunteer, and it’s great to see the Clyde-siders getting ready to provide a great welcome over the next few weeks. It should also be remembered that the skills and experience gained by the Clyde-siders during the Games will serve many of them well in the future.”
Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison said:
“Volunteers make a major contribution to our society and there’s no better time to get involved than during 2014.
“Over 50,000 people applied to become a volunteer across Glasgow, and other venues, and every one of these Clyde-siders selected will help make this the greatest Games ever.
“Placed at the heart of the Games, the Clyde-siders will undoubtedly create a fantastic welcome for athletes, spectators and visitors – displaying their characteristic smiles and enthusiasm.”
Clyde-sider Kate Kenyon
Volunteering at the Games will be more of a challenge for Kate Kenyon, 22, from Aberdeen, than for most. She will have dialysis three times a week - after her shifts finish as a volunteer member of the Media Team at the SECC. Kate, one of hundreds who arrived for duty yesterday, is waiting for a kidney transplant after contracting e.coli as a child and suffering chronic renal failure. But she was determined to become a volunteer and organised for her dialysis to be carried out at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Kate said: “I was so keen to become a volunteer at the Commonwealth Games and I’m really looking forward to being part of the excitement and buzz. It will be such a great experience.”
Clyde-sider Kristine Johnson
Kristine Johnson, 44, who was born in Glasgow and studied there but now lives in Dollar, is Chief Human Resources Officer at Stirling Council. She has been volunteering one or two days a week since April in the Uniform Team at Kelvin Hall.
Kristine said: “I am thoroughly enjoying volunteering for the Games. Everyone I have met is full of enthusiasm for the events ahead. In uniforms I have gained a greater appreciation of what is involved in staging this event, meeting all the different roles which will make the Games happen - drivers, medical staff, spectator services, games village staff, media and press and Chaplains to name a few. Everywhere is buzzing! There’s much excitement ahead.”
Clyde-sider Lindsay Barr
Lindsay Barr, retired, from Clarkston in Glasgow, has been a lifelong sports fan, running and playing tennis, badminton and squash. He worked until his retirement in communications and IT and is no stranger to voluntary work. He was a Boys’ Brigade Officer, served on the committee of his tennis club and led a 22-strong music and singing group. He is volunteering in Results Technology.
Lindsay said: “I was so excited about the games coming to Glasgow and felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. The most valuable thing I can give is my time. This is a chance for me to give something back to my home town which has given me so much. I am very excited now. The buzz and excitement on the day I was interviewed was terrific and it’s been like that ever since. Everyone I’ve met has been great. They’re all here because they care about it.”