More than 150 of Team GB’s volunteers for the London 2012 Olympic Games came together today for a training and team orientation session at Loughborough University, which will host the Team GB Preparation Camp prior to the Olympic Games this summer.
The volunteers will play a vital role as part of the largest Team GB Olympic delegation for over a hundred years, which will consist of 550 athletes, 450 support staff and up to 300 volunteers.
The volunteers will work for Team GB across a number of locations including the Olympic Venues and Villages, Team GB House at Westfield Stratford City and the Team GB Preparation Camp at Loughborough University. They will work across a variety of functions, including communications, operations and logistics, and kitting out.
Today represents the first time the Team GB volunteers have been brought together as one group. Among their ranks are six British Olympians, including sailing double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Gosling (nee Webb) who will pass on their Olympic experiences to their fellow volunteers.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt introduced the volunteers to the Team GB mission and ambition for London 2012 before Deputy Chef de Mission Clive Woodward outlined the values, culture and spirit of One Team GB. Double Olympian Marcia Bailey, who competed in athletics in Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, gave an insight to volunteering from an athletes’ perspective.
The volunteers have been through a comprehensive recruitment process. Many will be seconded from sport National Governing Bodies and a number of volunteers have been recruited from Loughborough University. Team GB Partners and Suppliers were also in attendance today, including representatives from adidas, Next and UPS.
Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said: “Our volunteers will play a crucial role in supporting Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games and we are delighted to have such a talented, dedicated and passionate team of people ready to do their very best as members of One Team GB. Many of the volunteers have valuable experience of working at previous Olympic and Commonwealth Games and we are grateful to the numerous National Governing Bodies and Partners who are seconding employees to the British Olympic Association. They will undoubtebly be among the many behind the scenes heroes who support Team GB this summer.”
Double Olympian and Team GB Volunteer Marcia Bailey said: “Volunteering will be a different experience from competing, but I believe it will be very rewarding. Being part of this team gives me the same goosebumps as competing did. Today has made London 2012 feel very real and has made clear the important role that we are here to play. Wearing the Team GB t-shirt feels very special, it is like getting your first kit as an athlete. I’ll be working in Team GB House and look forward to passing on my experience to the other volnuteers. It was great to meet all the other volunteers, to build team spirit and get on the same wavelength to be the best possible support we can be for Team GB.”
Team GB Volunteer Linda Freeman, who has previously volunteered at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and 2008 Olympic Games said: “Today was really informative. I was very impressed by the dedication, investment and support given to us as volunteers and to have been given a detailed insight to the planning and preparation of Team GB. I feel fully part of One Team GB and it was great to meet and bond with so many other like minded volunteers. I can’t wait to get started.”