Possibly One of the Best Weeks of My Life
Posted: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:00
It has been over a week since the IAAF World Championships came to a close and I finished my last shift as a 'Runner'. It truly was an amazing championship that I was lucky enough to be a part of as a volunteer and a spectator. Every one of my five shifts I had was varied and different with my first shift being on Sunday 6th August 2017 at Tower Bridge for the Marathon. It had been a late finish the night before as I was at the stadium with my partner watching the action. The sun was shining, it was a beautiful setting for a race and I was surrounded by the best athletes in the world so I couldn't complain.
For the next three shifts I was based at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Stratford where I had two evenings and one morning. On average the journey was taking me at least 1.5 hours each way. Upon arrival I was assigned my tasks for the evening and provided with the necessary instructions. It was extremely nerve wracking as I didn't want to get it wrong. The role I had involved Chaperoning Athletes for Clean Athletics working in partnership with British Athletics and the IAAF. I literally had access all areas but had to remember to remain professional and not act like a crazed athletics fan which was difficult at times. I did get to see and experience the most incredible things that I will always have as a memory and will certainly never forget. I was fortunate enough to get to meet some of best athletes in the world and make long lasting friends.
My final shift was at the Mall for the Race Walks; it was nice to not be running down the Mall for a change. Again it was an early start after having watched the athletics with my partner the night before at the stadium. As with all my shifts I was assigned my athlete to chaperone and I waited patiently in the sunshine for the race to finish with the best view in the house. I didn't think the day or week could get much better but then I got to meet HERO the hedgehog...life was complete!!
If I said the week was easy I would be lying, I found it tiring and at times physically and mentally exhausting but I would not changed it for the world and loved every single second of the experience. I met some of the most incredible people and was privileged to have had the role I had. I will remember this for the rest of my life. I therefore have to ask myself the question...'Why would people not want to volunteer?' It is a life changing experience. Thank you London...you did not disappoint.