A few thoughts from a Games Maker

After all the build up and preparation, it's hard to believe that it's all over. London 2012... what can one say that hasn't already been said? Uplifting, life-affirming, joyous, celebratory... all this and so, so much more. From a personal point of view I have loved every minute of both the Olympics and the Paralympics: the former as a Chaplain at the Olympic Games Sailing Village in Weymouth, the latter as a couch potato supporter back here in Southampton. As a volunteer I was invited to the final rehearsal for the Opening Ceremony. That in itself was one of the most memorable things I have ever and will ever experience. 

Here are a few snaps (courtesy of Instagram on my iPhone):

And here's a little info about what life was like in Weymouth:

There were various other groups of volunteers and salaried workers providing services in the village (e.g. catering, security, recreation, residential operations, IT/computers, polyclinic, etc…). With our room being next door to the recreation room we spent much our time there mixing with the sailors, coaches, team administrators and recreation room volunteers as they played table-tennis, baby football, video games, watch the olympics on TV, etc… When invited we ourselves would join in such games. At other times we would simply walk around the Village, making ourselves available to help with any jobs that required extra pairs of hands and chatting with the various people we met, offering support and encouragement to our fellow volunteers. These informal moments of contact provided opportunities to get to know people which would sometimes lead to deeper conversations about spiritual matters.

We had daily morning and evening prayer services in our Chaplaincy room which we maintained throughout the Games. A few of the sailors, team staff and fellow volunteers would sometimes join us, but we felt it was important to pray for those in the Village even on the days when nobody came to join us.

The wall of our Chaplaincy room decorated with prayers from local primary school children.
The recreation room next door to us.
The Sailing Village Residents' Centre.
Workforce/volunteers' dining area.
The whole experience was very rich in human terms, providing many moments that will stick in my memory. It was a pleasure to work with such a committed and enthusiastic team of Games Maker volunteers, especially the other 5 members of our multi-faith Chaplaincy team. As a team we got on very well with each other.

With fellow volunteer Joe at a medal ceremony.
Volunteers celebrating the birthday of one of our number.
It was a privilege and an honour to be part of such momentous and successful event and to help, even in just a small way, to promote the values of the Olympic movement. Memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Me + Wenlock.


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