Volunteer George shares inspirational Commonwealth story

Talk about once-in-a-lifetime opportunities!

Last updated: 25 August 2022
George and Perry

 

Our Cannock Chase Health & Wellbeing Officer, George, was absolutely over the moon to be handed the volunteering baton as an Athlete Team Service Member at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

An incredible 41,385 people applied to be volunteers, so to be selected to be among the 14,000-strong army known as the ‘Commonwealth Collective’ was a huge achievement in itself!

George is no stranger to getting stuck in, helping out and making a difference.

He works within our Activity Referral Scheme, supporting people aged 16 and over to increase their physical activity levels to improve or manage a stable health condition.

You’ll also find him getting involved in our Chase Fit programme - running, walking, cycling, kayaking, and even gardening with local residents.

So, it’s certainly no surprise to us and those he works with that he had such a fantastic experience at the Commonwealth Games – he even managed to rub shoulders with some of his sporting heroes!

Here he is to share his Commonwealth story.

“There’s no wonder it’s been called The Friendly Games,” said George.

“From the players to the teams, to the volunteers and spectators, I met so many fantastic people and had such an amazing time.

“I first applied for my Birmingham Commonwealth Games volunteer role at the beginning of 2021, along with a whopping 41,385 others. Twelve months later, following an interview, I was very pleased to find out that my application had been successful and that my role would be an Athlete Team Services Member at The Games.

“Myself and my fellow Athlete Team Services Members would look after each athlete before and after training and competition. We ensured everything was ready and prepared for them, including refreshments, treatments, media interviews and the all-important ice baths - which were a welcome relief in the fantastic sunshine and high temperatures!

“Being around all the world-class athletes was totally awe-inspiring. I even managed to get a couple of selfies with the England Team!

“My most memorable moments from the Games have to be the mountain biking at Birches Valley (obviously!), and the evening I had watching the athletics at The Alexander Stadium. I cannot emphasise enough how much I enjoyed the whole experience.

“Every volunteer received a relay baton as a memento and gift for all the time and effort we contributed. I’ve placed mine alongside other Birmingham 2022 memorabilia that I have framed in my mancave/garage!

“The whole experience was something that I will never forget.

“I still feel so honoured to have been a part of the Commonwealth Games 2022 and I am so pleased that this incredible sporting event took place in Brum and, more importantly, in our lovely Cannock Chase too!”