Sunday, 17 August 2014

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Clyde-Sider Journey - Part Five

Welcome to Part Five of my Clyde-Sider series.

I have written these as I have done the various media days, training days and shifts (or a day or two after).  I hope you enjoy the tales of my time volunteering for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games!!

My second 'day one' wasn't too stressful, as Hannah was starting her shift at exactly the same time as me so drove in. I went to the Service's Centre to check in as normal, but this time I wasn't staying. I asked for directions to Team Canada's part of the village.... however, I found the map of the village hard to work out... so in the end I set off in the general direction of Canada, just looking for Canadian flags. I found it really quickly - it was a lot closer to the Service's Centre than I knew!! Most of the other Team Canada CGA Assistant Clyde-Siders had started the day before, but they were all accepting of me, the newcomer!  After introducing myself to everyone I met, I had my first task! We had to place all of the cyclists gear in their rooms. After sorting out my shifts, I helped to decorate the portacabin with solar powered light, flags and banners.  Day one with team Canada was definitely busier than my previous day one!  After all the decorating, all the Clyde-Siders who were on duty, and I, went along to the International Zone to see the Opening Ceremony for the Village.  The National Youth Theatre put on a great show, followed by Village Chieftain #1 Gavin Hastings formally welcoming everybody to the Village.

On the 14th I had a day off, the only day off that both Hannah & I had together!  We went to check out the new Wetherspoons in Stirling, only to be told it was opening in a few days.. oops!  So we went to Filling Station for some yummy food.  After having a look round the shops, it was back to Hannah's to chill out and relax.

Vincent (Team Canada Attache) & I
Suzie & I

The next few days went by quite quickly.  Not too much happened, however, on the 15th I painted maple leaves on the pavement outside the Team Canada portacabin.  The team had requested one of the builders who were still in the village doing finishing touches, to have some maple leaves in the cement which was quite cool... and then Suzie and I set about painting them - all without a paintbrush!!  We had 'Q-tips' (cotton buds) and sponges though, which got the job done - just not quite as precisely as I would have liked.  They did look really cool though.  Suzie had to go out for a drive, so I was left to crack on with finishing them off, and giving them a second coat.
On the 16th, I was delighted to go in to the Village and find the maple leaves still in tact!  I attempted to clean up a little round the edges with nail polish remover, but it wasn't really happening, however, Tamera (from Team Canada) noticed that the paint scraped off... so we scraped off some of the big bits of excess.  The rest of the day was pretty uneventful until I went out with fellow Team Canada CGA Assistant, Martin, in one of the CGA cars to check out routes and parking for when he would be driving athletes and team Canada members around.  We only got lost once, and that was down to following the sat nav to a wrong postcode... but apart from that it went really smoothly.  We visited Hampden, Ibrox, SECC, the National Hockey Centre and Cathkin Braes.

On the 17th I had a much much busier day.  We were all required in the Welcome Centre to welcome in the Athletics team.  There were quite a lot of them!  Once they were all welcomed in, and all the luggage had been security checked, it was off to 'clothing' for me.  Team Canada had two rooms in one of the houses dedicated to team kit and even bought in two Glaswegian seamstresses (from Tailoring Alterations, Dennistoun) - Esther & Alice - so that as many athletes as possible could have the perfect 'uniforms'.  My job was to help Chris (from Team Canada) help athletes and officials with swapping kit, trying to find trades, as well as making sure Esther and Alice were okay.  It was great, as I got to interact with so many people.  I had a wee chat with 400m runner Mike Robertson and he high fived me when he left!  I also met some more of the athletics team including Phylicia George.  There were also members of the judo and weightlifting teams helped out with clothing, as well as one of the cycling coaches!

My view!
I had two days off in a row - the 18th & 19th - as I was heading back home for a couple of days.  I returned on the afternoon of the 19th to meet up with Catherine (I met her while helping out at the Scottish Rally, she is over from New Zealand!) for food before going to the Opening Ceremony Rehearsal.  All Clyde-Siders (and other volunteers/paid staff) were given a pair of tickets to one of two rehearsals for the Opening Ceremony, which was a nice gesture.  The weather was AWFUL.  It did not stop raining while we were walking from Dalmarnock Station to Celtic Park, nor while we were waiting in a queue to go through security.  My coat was only 'shower-proof', and there is only so much rain an umbrella will stop.  So it wasn't too pleasant sitting about feeling rather chilly and damp, but luckily the Opening Ceremony Rehearsal was interesting and took my mind off the cold/damp!!  The view was quite good.  We were quite near the front, just before the corner.  I thought the ceremony was great, I really loved John Barrowman!!

On the 20th I was in early for my shift, as I got a lift from Hannah.  I was assigned to the Coaches Lounge for the afternoon.  When I first went in to the Coaches Lounge the power slowly went off!  Luckily it wasn't only that portacabin, but the Bahamas also had no power.  They were situated just behind the Team Canada base.  I say 'luckily' because in my experience with power cuts at home, the bigger the problem, the quicker they seem to get it fixed!!  It didn't take too long before the lights, tv's, fridge and fan all came back to life!  Phew!

Each team staying in the Village was invited to a Welcome Ceremony in which their flag is raised and the national anthem is played.  The Welcome Ceremony for Team Canada was on the 21st.  They were also joined by British Virgin Islands, Niue and Vanuatu.  Again, the National Youth Theatre put on a great show.  Team Canada sang their National anthem and I found it slightly emotional as I was thinking to myself.. 'some of these athletes will be hearing this played with them standing on top of the podium... that must be amazing!'.

HERE is an article containing a video of highlights of the Welcome Ceremony for Canada - The back of my head is at the very end of the video which is contained in the article!

Part One -      - Part Two -      - Part Three -      - Part Four -      - Part Five -      - Part Six -
Part Seven -      - Part Eight -      - Part Nine -      - Part Ten -


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