10/07/2012 Day One as a #London2012 #gamesmaker

So i arrived late in on the Monday night, arriving at my accommodation for the next five weeks about 11pm. Having been both physically and mentally tired from the journey and the goodbye of my other half I was well and truly knackered.

After the obligatory, ‘im safe and well’ texts I well amd truly collapsed in my bed ready for the morning still to come.

I woke up pretty early, around 6.30 for my 9am start, got ready and headed to the nearest tube station with Amy, one of the girls who was in the house, who i happen to know thru Uni and Student Union stuff. We were chatting on the way about what I wpuld be doing or what I might be doing and I simply replied, ‘No idea, except that last night two of me team, Katrina and Rob, waited from 4pm to meet with the Australian delegation but due to miss communication they had already left’ at which point we just laughed.

The easiest route for me to get to Stratford is to get on the met line and change for the Javelin at St Pancras Intl. Having never been there i thought this will be easy….not! Walking thru St Pancras and navigating my way from the Underground, infact my journey to start with I never seen one person who was in a #gamesmaker uniform, not one. Another surprise wws also the fact that not one person seemed to acknowledge who I was. I know im not famous and they could probably guess I was associated with #London2012 but I think even in Glasgow someone would have either ‘looked’ or… ‘Mentioned’ something about the fact im wearing a purple t shirt with red shoulders and the London 2012 logo on it.

Alas, it was not to be.

I eventually managed to the Javelin which is just as quick as they say it is btw. Arriving at Stratford Int. rather than Stratford Underground as I actually thought. I was to meet Nicky and Peter, two of my fellow Aussie NOC Assistants at Starbucks in the Westfield Centre….I eventually found it with a few loops going round the pretty impressive Shopping Centre.

We said hi, and started talking about how we were gonna get to the workforce entry roughly a Kilometer round the other side from where we were.

The walk wasn’t actually too bad, it was pretty good to see alp the other gamesmakers walking about in Stratford heading to wherever, you had a sense of belonging and didnt feel too isolated now that there were others wearing these interesting uniforms.

Getting thru Security was a breeze, the staff were all very friendly talking away saying hello etc, which is what you want. No point of having dour faced people who dont want to be there. Then we were in to the Village itself.

It was the first time I had ever set foot in it, i wasnt able to attend the Venue Specific Training due to prior commitments for that weekend. We met everyone in the NOC Services Centre were our ‘line managers’ were based and where we could find up to date info should anything be happening. It was nice to hear that the building and the one next to it were going to be turned into both a Primary and Secondary school once we had vacated after the Games.

The whole NOC Assistant team were there, all of Australia.
I must say we looked prety cool! We did a few checks before we headed over to Seaside 3, we had no idea what it meant just thats where we were headed. Walking past towering accomodation blocks, flags poles without any flags, grass that was to be kept off and bmws that were completley electric powered.

Arriving at Seaside 3 i dont think anyone knew what we were to do or what to expect. Then we seen them. Wondering down in the Green and Gold jackets and of course outfitted in trainers and shorts ready for the day ahead. We all shook hands with people from the Operations team, nearly all of which were at least 6ft tall and all women!

They sent us around the village looking for places that were key for everyone to know, Main Dining Hall, Welcome Centre, Village Entrance and of course NOC Services. It also meant that as a team we got a bit more time to spend together 🙂

Then came the fun bit… the I & I or Inventory Check. Being a larfe the team the Aussies had over 400 athletes and around 300+ officials, luckily not all of them were staying but they did have two tower blocks with 9 floors each, 3 apartments on each for B and 4 on C then 3-4 rooms in each apartment….you can see how the numbers tot up. Luckiky enough we were able to get the majority of it done by lunchtime as we managed to wizz thru and beat tge other team….not that its a competition…obviously! :p image

Lunch was pretty good tbh, quite a few different options to choose from but there was confusion of what you were and werent allowed which was a bit weird in itself. We were in the athletes dining hall which had various food stands across the hall, indian and asian, european, best of british, carribbean, halal and of course….mcdonalds!

It was interesting to look across the hall and see gamesmakers in various roles, a sea of purple and poppy red. Mixed into that the camouflage of the army, navy, raf, paras, marines, various police services, mainly the Met, the blue uniforms of the cleaning staff and the green of g4s. A real ‘salad bowl’ of different roles and functions. All as important as the next.image

After lunch we finished the I & I and were given artwork to put up from Australian children showing their support of the athletes ages ranging feom 4-11, it was all pretty cute, and actually some of it is above and beyond anything I could hope to acheive!

This took us right thru the afternoon, the heat in the corridor of each floor was unbeaorable a

nd of course we ran out if blu tac, well and truly which was actually quite funny. The time on our feet was taking its toll and im not gonna lie the sweat was actually coming off me in floods. Knackered and sore feet we were let away to go home and become alive again for the day after. Ive honestly never felt quite so tired at this point and i still had an hour or so til i got home.

One thought on “10/07/2012 Day One as a #London2012 #gamesmaker

  1. Great account of your experience Darren. I especially like the analogy of the ‘salad bowl’. All colours, all shapes and sizes but all in this together.

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