Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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Loughborough University

London 2012 Games


The Loughborough University Games Makers

27 September 2012

This summer saw 70,000 volunteers wear the London 2012 Games Makers’ kit and work at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It has been widely reported that the Games Makers have been a key factor in the success of these Games. Some of the volunteers are past and present associates of Loughborough University and as a way of recognising their achievements; we have collected just some of their stories and have told them here:

Matt Withers graduated with a degree in Sports Technology in 2010. He was a medal and flower bearer in the presentation ceremonies at the Olympic and Paralympic Games:

“I was over the moon to learn that I would be working in the stadium for the Olympics and the velodrome for the Paralympics. I anticipated that I could be presenting medals to a lot of GB athletes, which was great.”

“I could not have anticipated how amazing an experience it was going to be.”

“Working in the stadium was amazing as I was rubbing shoulders with the likes of Usain Bolt and Mo Farah. You soon realise that they are just genuine people with an exceptional talent. Both were incredibly gracious and loved to joke with us.  I was fortunate to give Usain Bolt his gold medal for the 200m in front of 80,000 people in the stadium, which was crazy.” 

“Dealing with the Paralympic athletes in the medal ceremonies was also very inspirational as many of the athletes were blind or missing a limb.  It made what would seem a simple task such as stepping onto a medal podium a challenge.”

“I think that it is definitely something that will stay with me in years to come. I found the Paralympics hugely inspiring. To see how these athletes overcome such challenging situations makes you realise that you should never take what you have for granted.”

“I want to continue to be involved with Paralympic sport, either as a volunteer or in another capacity.”

Communication and Media Studies student, Elsa Meserlian also graduated in 2010:

“I was a Technical Official with the statistics team for the indoor volleyball at the Olympics. To get the role I had to participate in various international and national events as a volunteer while I was a student at Loughborough. It's safe to say that I would have never had this opportunity if it wasn't for the University and the connections in sport there, so I'm certainly very proud of my experience at Loughborough.”

Elizabeth Treherne, an Education and Maths graduate in 1990 says:

“I was a Games Maker at both the Olympics and Paralympics working in printed results distribution in the Copper Box which housed Handball, Modern Pentathlon Fencing, and Goalball.”
“It was been a wonderful experience to be involved with and to see the huge operation that goes on backstage.  It’s been a real privilege to walk onto the Olympic Park each day - the atmosphere was fabulous.  The Games Maker uniform was a real ice breaker and I've been asked questions by, thanked and chatted with many people who wouldn't usually talk to others - in the park, on the underground and elsewhere.”
“Getting back to real life is going to be a shock to the system!”

 Julian O’Neill – pictured, is a current PhD student in Geography. His Games Maker title was Event Services Team Member and he was lucky enough to be situated in the athletics stadium for the famous ‘Super Saturday’.

“My job involved taking and scanning tickets throughout the event, as well as acting as walking talking sign posts within the stadium compound. However my favourite job was to act as an usher in the seating bowl, helping people find their seats.

“On Saturday 4 August, I was posted on the upper tier at the start of the second bend. Going into the evening it was pretty clear that Jess Ennis had to do something spectacular in order not to win a gold medal, considering her form in the 800m. The noise as the pack entered the final straight was like nothing I’ve heard before. I’ve been to lots of festivals and big gigs in my time, but I had never seen so many people from all walks of life screaming for one person.”

“One Polish spectator said at the end of the night. ‘Wow, I didn’t know that you Brits could show so much emotion’.”


Photograph courtesy of Julian O'Neill

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