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Vale Royal Athletic Club

Rachel Enjoys UK Schools Games

Vale Royal AC athlete Rachel Clews has just enjoyed herself as a volunteer at the very first UK Schools Games as a volunteer to gain experience at a major championships.

Rachel met lots of personalities such as Kelly Holmes, Gordon Brown and Cherie Blair just to name a few of them.

Here is her report on the week.....

In the first week of September 2006 I took off to the City of Glasgow to be a part of the UK School games as an official volunteer.  Earlier in the year I attended a 4 day Youth Sport Trust volunteering camp at Loughborough university, which is where I was selected to attend a selection day in July where 30 volunteers were then given the opportunity to attend a major sporting event which for me was the UK School games. 


When I arrived at Glasgow central I was greeted by a member of the Youth Sports Trust who was the organisers for the whole event.  From here I was taken to the Glasgow Crowne Plaza 4* hotel where I was staying for the week.  It was then that I realised that this trip was going to be great because for starters some of the facilities at the hotel consisted of a swimming pool, gym, sauna, steam room, spa and lounge area.  (Not bad considering it was all paid for!!)


Later on that evening we were given free time for which we used to get to know the other volunteers that we would be spending the rest of the week with.   From here the work then started as all of the volunteers we given jobs to do which was mainly sorting out all of the kit for the athletes competing in the games.


The next 2 days all of the volunteers went to 1 of the 2 venues where the games were taking place.  We were all split up into 5 groups and chose a sport, athletics, table tennis, gymnastics, swimming or fencing that we would help out at for the duration of the games.  I was in the athletics group which therefore meant that I would be at the Scotstoun Stadium along with the table tennis and fencing volunteers.  We were all given a tour of the venues before starting work by getting all of the equipment out & set up, and for some to go and dress the athleteís accommodation.  In the evening all of the volunteers had welfare training, which was so that we knew how to deal with situations that may arise during the week.


When the athletes arrived on Thursday evening all of the volunteers, event organisers, parents and athletes went to the opening ceremony where there were spectacular performances from some of Scotlandís best dancers and gymnasts.  On the Friday evening all of the athletes and volunteers had a social activity, which came as a surprise that we were meeting Dame Kelly Holmes for a question and answer session. 


Saturday and Sunday were the longest and most hectic days of the week as the competition started! We were all given further jobs and responsibilities within our sports; I had the opportunity to follow round and attend one of the meetings of the main organiser of the athletics (who is in the top 12 event managers for athletics in the country) so that I could get an insight as to how much work and preparation goes into such a big event like this.  Other jobs which I was assigned were raking the long jump pit, timing, medal ceremonies and checking for lane discipline and disqualification. 


On Sunday evening was the closing ceremony followed by a party for all the athletes and volunteers drawing a close to the whole Games as the athletes left the following day.


Throughout my experience at the UK School Games I had many amazing opportunities of meeting new people all of which love volunteering as much as I do, watching some of the best sporting talent across the whole of the UK, having a TV interview and meeting the real sporting talent themselves Dame Kelly Holmes, Ewan Thomas, Sir Steve Redgrave, Leon Taylor, Liz McColgan, Guin Batten and then Gordon Brown and Cherie Blair.  

Rachel Clews