An Update from Jennifer Smith, whoi is working as a Gamesmarker at the olympics – Our President, Felix Badcock, is also a Games Maker at Eton Dorney.”
“On 19 June I travelled to the Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Centre (UDAC) in West Ham to collect my Gamesmaker uniform and security pass for the Olympic Games.
It was all very efficient and was a little bit like going shopping (except without any choice, which is great for me as I hate shopping!). Firstly I picked up my pass with the photograph that was taken at our selection event over a year ago – oh dear, at the time I wasn’t expecting to be photographed! Then into the “shoe shop” to try on trainers, before going to the changing rooms to try on the trousers, polo shirts and splash-proof jackets.
At the end of the session I came away with a massive bag with trainers, socks, trousers, polo shirts, jacket, cap, watch, satchel, water bottle, umbrella, pocket guide, amongst other things. Having just spent an overnight in Epsom due to work commitments, I struggled onto the crowded tube with my overnight bag, laptop bag and almost another suitcase worth of Gamesmaker clothing!
That weekend, still in Olympic spirits I headed off to umpire at Ironbridge regatta and stopped off on the way home in Much Wenlock, in Shropshire. Much Wenlock is the birthplace of Dr William Penny Brookes who inspired the Modern Olympic Movement. He organised the first games in 1850.
The weekend of 7 and 8 July saw my final training sessions and my first visit to the transformed Dorney Lake. It’s still a building site though almost complete. It was amazing to look down the course from the Finish end and see the grandstands on either side of the course, the huge cable suspended above the lake along which a TV camera will run and all the temporary buildings and marquees for various uses: press, athlete rest, athlete canteen, workforce break area etc. It reminded me of Athens and Sydney: it looked like what the Olympics looks like on the TV – wow!
In Saturday’s pouring rain we completed practice drills in the RIBs (stands for Rigid Inflatable Boats). With 24hp engines these boats can travel at 45 knotts. Unless we’re effecting a rescue we’ll only ever run them in tick over, so Saturday was a great opportunity to spread ourselves out across the lake and open up the throttle testing the handling, turning, accelerating and decelerating capability.
A slightly more sedate day on Sunday, this was our opportunity to meet Gamesmakers and paid staff from all different functional areas to understand how we all fit into one team. All the paid staff turned up in their uniforms, whilst the trainees were in “civvies”. It gave us an idea of what it will look like with the mix of Gamesmakers and public and I have to say that it looked fantastic, it was also really easy to spot who to speak to if there was a question.
My first shift is in the training week, two weeks before the Games actually begin. That’s now!
Camilla and Peter at the Olympic torch relay in Stratford-upon-Avon
Members from both ends of the age spectrum were selected to carry the Olympic torch through Stratford on the 1st July. Peter Wyatt and Camilla Hadland were chosen to carry the torch in honour of their achievements – Peter narrowly missed selection to the 1948 Olympics in a coxless iv and Camilla won gold in an viii at the Junior World Championships in 2010. Well done both of you, the club is very proud and we loved cheering for you on the day!