Rain seems to be a regular feature of my visits out to the nations and regions but after getting caught in a torrential electrical storm on the Monday night, I woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the English Channel and clear blue skies on the morning of Tuesday 18 January and made my way out of Weymouth to the Isle of Portland and the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA).
I was there with colleagues from LOCOG to interview people who have offered to help LOCOG recruit the London 2012 Games Makers. With over 130 people to see, we were also lucky enough to have colleagues from the South West to help us including – amongst others – representatives of Team Dorset and the South West’s Nations and Regions Group Coordinator.
We also had Craig Womble from Dorset Volunteer Centre, helping us out by speaking to the attendees and provided information on the other community based volunteering opportunities available in the local area. Highlighting that volunteering in the local community was an incredibly rewarding activity, Craig said he was “very keen to make the Dorset community aware that there were other enjoyable volunteering opportunities available to those who don’t volunteer for London 2012 or those who do but would like to carry doing voluntary work afterwards”. As I’ve said before, the increased interest in volunteering generated by London 2012 really does have the ability to galvanise the volunteering sector.
All day at WPNSA there was so much enthusiasm and excitement in the room from those who’d offered to help with the recruitment – it was infectious! There was also much talk of the benefits of staging an Olympic and Paralympic event in the South West and it was clear how much Weymouth Bay and Portland Harbour being a venue meant to local people.
Games Maker selection events for every region
At the end of the day, we knew we now had a great team for the actual Games Maker selection event which will run at WPNSA from 8-20 March. The day in Weymouth was just the first of the seven Selection Event Volunteer days as it will be repeated in every nation and region that is holding a Games Maker selection event (the others being Manchester, Newcastle, Coventry, Cardiff, Glasgow and Northern Ireland). I hope we’re as lucky with the weather . . . .
Learning to sail image, ©Britainonview / Andrew Perris.