Christine Barlow - Games Maker

  |  Published: Nov 1st 2012

My journey to be a Games maker in London 2012 began when I saw an advert on the London Tube for volunteers way back in 2010. I  applied on the web-form thinking that I did not stand a chance as I was not involved in the sporting world nor had I any specific sports related skills.

Imagine my surprise when a year later I was invited to an interview at the Excel Centre in East London. I was welcomed warmly from my very first encounter with LOCOG. The  interview, information giving and engagement processes were superb from start to finish.

Shortly afterwards I was offered a role in the Venue Communications & Command centre (VCC) at Lord’s Cricket Ground. I soon learnt that every functional area has acronyms and that there were thirty-two of these. I was to join a total workforce of 70,000.  We were told that this was the largest peacetime recruitment drive since the Second World War. I felt privileged to have this opportunity to make the games great and to be part of such a magnificent celebration of human skill and excellence in a world class city.

We had superb training in how to use radios, remember the dreaded acronyms, problem solve issues and had many practice sessions in radio protocol announcements, keeping detailed  log books and were based  with the VCC team of fifteen in the same  glass fronted control room  as  the Police, Security and Medical /Ambulance teams. We had fantastic team spirit, lovely helpful team leaders and great fun.

The radios were most active on the monitoring groups for the field of play, pedestrian access, security, medical, lost children, site maintenance operations and technical and press operations. We started the day at 6.30am with our regular radio bulletins and were often tempted to say “Good Morning Vietnam’’…instead of which we had to  keep to protocol and wish everyone at Lord’s a Good Morning in our cheery voice!!

In between the ten hour long shifts, I had a go at archery and met the coach of the South Korean Archery Team. They were just superb to watch and an Olympic  world  record was broken by a partially blind archer.  There were many highlights not least of which was an in depth tour of Lord’s Cricket Ground, and developing  good working relationships with fellow Games Makers from all over UK.

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