Greg Warnecke is Glasgow 2014’s Head of Sport. Read his thoughts ahead of the Games as he puts volunteering in a sporting context and reveals his own favourite sporting moment.
How important are volunteers to the sports programme at Glasgow 2014?
Whatever their role, there is no question that volunteers will make a significant contribution. We’ll need a lot of volunteers in sport-specific roles, from looking after the field of play, to providing medical services to athletes. Not matter what their role, every volunteer will help us to create an atmosphere and environment where athletes can perform at their very best!
Have you always been a sports fan?
Growing up in Australia, sport was always an important part of my life, and I have been lucky enough in recent years to be involved with national and international teams in coaching and team management roles.
Do you have a sporting hero?
I played a lot of basketball growing up, so my sporting hero was Michael Jordan.
What made you want to get involved in Glasgow 2014?
After working on the Games in Melbourne in 2006 and being involved in a number of other international multi-sport events, the opportunity to move to Glasgow for this role was too good to pass up.
Do you have a favourite sport?
I have 17 favourite sports!
What do you think Glasgow 2014 means to athletes?
For many athletes, this will be the pinnacle of their sporting career. For others, Glasgow 2014 will be a launch pad for future success. Of course, it will mean a huge amount to Scottish athletes. I can only imagine the pride they’ll feel performing in front of family and friends on their home soil.
Do you think any records will be broken next year?
Advances in training and performance mean no record is safe. I expect fast times in the Swimming at Tollcross, on the Athletics track and by cyclists at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Watch out too for some amazing Para-Sport performances with Paralympic and World Record holders trying to smash their PBs.
Do you have a favourite sporting moment?
A memorable moment for me was the women’s Marathon at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, where Australia’s Kerryn McCann ran into the stadium alongside Hellen Cherono Koskei from Kenya. The noise of the home crowd was the loudest I have ever experienced and spurred Kerryn on to win the Gold. Sadly, two years later, Kerryn was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away soon afterwards. I’ll never forget being there that day or the the amazing athlete and mother that Kerryn was.
What sporting legacy do you hope for Glasgow 2014?
The legacy is already happening, with new venues open and in use by the public and positive promotion and investment in all 17 Games sports. I think the true legacy will be the next generation of young Scots competing in all kinds of sports.