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Vale Royal Athletic Club

Michaela Penney at the


(by Neil Templeman)


Vale Royal AC athlete Michaela Penney spent a weekend at the prestigious European Indoor Championships 2007 at Birmingham in March where she worked as an Access Control Officer (security) which was a fulfilling experience full of wonderful memories that will last a lifetime.


Michaela who turns 18 in the summer, a student at Sir John Deane's College signed up to be a volunteer last year and was delighted to given a pivotal role in the security of athletes during the three day championships.


The shifts started at 7am which meant a drive leaving Cheshire at 5am each morning to be ready for the morning safety briefings.  Once the shift finished at 2pm Michaela then joined all the spectators supporting the GB athletes who won more medals than expected during the championships.


The defining moment for Michaela was escorting Dame Kelly Holmes from her Audi sports car in the car park to the track area to be greeted by the audience and media interviews. Michaela was in awe of the double Olympic Champion and was delighted to escort her role model to the indoor area of the National Indoor Arena, where she feels Kelly is a perfect role model for many youngsters, particularly young girls at school.


Michaela also saw personally the effects of competition on athletes where each athlete dealt with their own highs and lows during competition in different ways which was fascinating in terms of sport psychology. 


Finally Michaela added that it was a hugely uplifting experience and didnít want the championships to finish, however, Michaela has already signed up to be a volunteer at the 2012 Olympics saying that this will be even bigger and canít wait for it come!!!!