A LOCAL woman, Gillian Douglas, recently joined others taking part in Orientation Training for the London Olympics this summer. The 70,000 volunteers selected from 200,000 applications are known as GamesMakers and are a vital part of staging the Olympics.
Gillian said: “I found out after New Year that I had been selected for the Events Communication team based in London. It really hit home last week when the BBC called asking to interview me and I suddenly found myself as the lead story on the broadcasters Olympic website. After the long wait, it seems to be all systems go as the first of three training sessions begin. The first is the orientation event where volunteers will get an insight into the history of the Games, sports and venues. The next step is role-specific sessions where people will learn all they need to carry out their allotted tasks. Finally, at the venue-specific training session people will go to the venue they will be stationed at, learn about procedures and meet other volunteers they will be working with.”
Gillian has wanted to be involved in the Olympics since London won the bid. She said: ”As a young person I was involved in sport as a swimmer and a gymnast and I appreciate a lot of sport depends on people giving up time for groups to be successful. I have always been a big fan of the Olympics and I have always been around volunteering.
“Volunteering has always been part of my life but being a GamesMaker is quite literally a chance in a lifetime. It is a big commitment because of where I live but as I’m 50 just before the games start I think it will be a birthday to remember. I am really looking forward to being part of something special and meeting new people who are as passionate about it as I am.”