Olympic Volunteers start their training


Olympic Volunteers
Olympic Volunteers

London 2012 Games Makers start training in Weymouth

• John Inverdale and Team GB sailing team leader Stephen Park host Games Makers at the Weymouth Pavilion
• Games Makers take part in Orientation Training to prepare for Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy roles

Hundreds of volunteers who will be working at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy during London 2012 took part in Orientation Training earlier today at the Weymouth Pavilion Theatre to introduce them to their roles as ‘Games Makers’.

The events are the first stage in the training programme for up to 70,000 volunteers who will help to make the Games happen.

Sports presenter John Inverdale and Team GB sailing team leader Stephen Park hosted a three hour session at the Weymouth Pavilion Theatre from 6.30pm today giving Games Makers an insight into what working at the Games will be like.

Today was the first of six regional Orientation events for Games Makers who have volunteered to work at London 2012 venues outside the capital. This follows the national Orientation Training at Wembley Arena in February where 38,000 people got their first experience of being a Games Maker.

The volunteers who took part in today’s session have been assigned roles at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy which will host the sailing events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Around 900 Games Makers will work there during the Olympic Games and around 500 during the Paralympic Games, between them delivering around 60 different roles. Among the Games Makers who attended the Orientation Training were Rob Weguelin a Yacht designer from Lymington and his wife Christina.

Rob who will take on a role as a sailing Field of Play Marshal said, “Having grown up around boats and raced as a youngster it’s such a great opportunity to be able to give something. My wife and I are thrilled to be Games Makers together in a sport that we are so passionate about.”

The Orientation Training provides an introduction to the heritage and importance of the Games as well as an insight into what working at London 2012 will be like, including the sports, venues and the roles. Games Makers will leave the session prepared for the next steps on the journey to Games time. The sessions include welcome talks from John Inverdale and London 2012 staff who will be working at the venue, presentations and mocked up scenarios which will introduce all Games time workers to the realities of putting on an event the size of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The six regional Orientation sessions held in March are for Games Makers who have been offered roles at London 2012 venues in Weymouth and Portland, Cardiff, Coventry, Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow.

Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair said, “The Olympic and Paralympic Games are the biggest sporting events to be held in Britain for a generation and the volunteers in Weymouth and Portland will be playing a crucial role in their delivery. Games Makers will be the faces of the sailing events for visitors from all over the world and this training marks the first stage in helping them prepare for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I hope that the Orientation Training they received today has made them even more excited about being part of the London 2012 team this summer.”

By the time the Games Makers reach Games Time, collectively they will have undertaken 1.2 million hours of training. Around 8 million volunteer hours across the summer of 2012 will be used.

Games Makers have been receiving role-specific training from February where they will learn all they need to know to carry out their role successfully and also have the opportunity to try out the duties they’ll be doing at Games time. They will then receive venue-specific training in June which will familiarise them with their venue. Team leaders will also receive event leadership training.

The Orientation events are the first time Games Makers will be together following the selection events and the first time they will have the opportunity to meet others who will be working at the same venue.

2,000 young people will be taking up volunteer roles during the London 2012 Games, as part of the Young Games Maker programme. Approximately 250 teams of young people will join the adult Games Makers this summer to help stage the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their training will take a similar format over the coming months.

Worldwide Olympic Partner McDonald’s is the Presenting Partner of the Games Maker volunteer programme. McDonald’s has used its nationwide presence to help attract candidates for the diverse team that will be needed to make the London 2012 Games a success. The LOCOG Volunteer team held training sessions for many of the volunteers conducting interviews at the world-class training facilities at McDonald’s head office in East Finchley, London and the restaurant chain will also be helping to facilitate the training of the volunteers in the run up to Games time.

Jez Langhorn, Vice President, People, McDonald’s UK, said: “With the regional Orientation events getting underway it feels like the Games are nearly here. We’ve been hard at work to help plan and design the training materials that will prepare the volunteers for the challenge ahead, drawing on our experience in delivering great customer service and award-winning training programmes on a large scale. 
“As the Games Makers prepare for their role this summer, McDonald’s will to be on hand to support them every step of the way. It’s an exciting time to be part of the hospitality sector as we prepare to put the country on show to millions of visitors this summer and I’m proud of the role we will have played in making sure our volunteers are ready.”

Almost a quarter of a million people applied to the Games Maker programme in 2010 and a team of specially trained volunteer interviewers has been carrying out selection interviews since February 2011. Up to 100,000 interviews will have been conducted over the course of the programme and of these; 84,000 interviews have taken place to date in nine selection centres around the UK. Interviews will continue in London’s selection centre at ExCeL through to the end of March 2012.

So far around 50,000 offers have been made for roles at both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Offers are continuing to be made, with the final role expected to be filled at the end of April.

Cadbury is an Official Supporter of the London 2012 Games Maker programme and will help LOCOG build great Games Maker teams through fun and friendly game play delivered by programmes such as the Spots v Stripes campaign.