Newham Run! Young Gamesmaker Blogs
Team Leader and Run! Activator for Newham, Coral Nourrice & NEB coach Sheila Poleon, took 9 Young Games Makers from the Newham Athletics Network to be Kit Carriers at the Olympics, 7 of the 16-18 year olds are members of Newham & Essex Beagles Athletics Club. Run! Activator Coral Nourrice Said 'I feel proud and honoured to have led such a professional and dedicated team, the experience that these young leaders will take away with them will stay with them for the rest of their lives and hopefuly inspire them to achieve many more great things. I would also like to thank Sheila who was a brilliant team leader offering support throughout the whole process, we cannot wait until the Paralympics!'
Read the young gamesmaker experiences here...
My name is Paris Pilgrim and I am 18 years old and a member of the Newham and Essex Beagles Athletics Club in Newham. My nominated organisation invited me to be a Young Games Maker Volunteer and I was lucky to have the opportunity to be a Kit Carrier during the Olympic Games.The first time I experienced my role as Kit Carrier was during the test events at the new athletics stadium in Stratford. When I went into the stadium I thought that it was very big, bigger than I had previously thought and it was designed really well - it looked prestigious that I remember thinking to myself that to compete there you must be special because it is impressive. During the test events I kit carried for the men’s hurdling event; the men’s 400m event; the 4 x 400m women’s; 1500m women’s event to name a few as the test events were done over a couple of days that week. These events were for a university league, British University and College Sports (BUCS) competitions and it gave us a chance to practice what we needed to do. To support the competing athletes I had to look after their kit during their events. The athletes would pack their kit into the provided boxes and the boxes were labelled with a lane number. I had to make sure that I kept the contents of the boxes safe and ensure that they got to the athletes lane at the right time and then return the box into a secure collection room for them to get their kit after they had finished their event. The test events were not as busy as the official events but it was a good chance for me to see and know what had to be done and for me and my voluntary team to practice our job together. As a kit carrier I was then lucky enough to get the opportunity to attend one of the secret Opening Ceremony Rehearsals. There were patches of spectators taking part (to fill a stadium that size for a rehearsal would be impossible) but I was surprise about the press coverage that the technical rehearsals got because it was such as secret. I must admit was quite exciting to be a part of this big show and famous secret. The opportunity to watch the rehearsals was also great because there was a lot of audience participation! I had lots of people asking me what it was like because people were so interested in finding out about it all. Then came to actual events; my family were excited for me and took pictures of me in my games maker uniform before leaving to go to the stadium. I must admit by wearing the uniform I got a lot of attention immediately from the general public. People did look at me a lot and I got enquiries straight away as people down the street and in the train station would ask me for directions to the Olympic Park. Once in the stadium it was quite different from the test event because it was so busy! People were everywhere (mainly members of the athletes support staff; officials and coaches from each country). When I met up with my peers we were given our times and events through our team leaders and I made sure that I knew where I had to go as some races began at different parts of the track therefore I had to make sure that I was at the right part of the stadium at the right time. When taking the kit out onto the track for the first time during the real events I was really shocked because the stadium was packed with spectators and the brightness of the lights made it look surreal. The noise of the cheering was overwhelming from the crowd; it was so loud that it literally shook through you - it was more powerful than in a football stadiums crowd - there were that many people. This very first event was the 100m Women’s Hurdles event and I was carrying (the then current Olympic Champion) Dawn Harper's kit (of the USA). As an aspiring track athlete it felt surreal standing right next to professional athletes that I usual read about or see on TV. It was great to see them warm up; perform in their events and how polished their performances are. One event I will always remember was the chance I got to carry the kit for Amaso Jobodwana of South Africa for the 200m Men’s final as he was also running against Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake, Wallace Spearman, Christophe Lemaitre, Churandy Martina and Alex Quinonez. I follow the careers of many of these sprinters and it was a privilege and special to be among them. I tried really hard to remain professional but I really felt like jumping for joy inside. When I returned home my mum recorded it on TV and I am in the same camera frame with Usain Bolt a number of times because I was standing adjacent to his starting blocks... I got loads of phone calls and texts as people saw me on TV! Being a Games Maker is an experience I will never forget; I felt like I was a part of something that the whole country was watching and the recognition from the likes of the public, athletes, celebrities, media and organisers like Sebastian Coe made me feel appreciated.
My olympic experience by Wendy Zadigue (who is also the Newham Deputy Young Mayor)
At first I was nervous about the whole thing as I'm used to just helping out at local events let alone some global like this. I knew I had to keep things professional not just for myself but for my team and my borough. First day of kit carrying ..... I only did the one event that day which was the 200m women's heats. I remember waiting in the tunnel, my heart was pumping like it was me running the race when all I had to do was carry an athlete's kit. As I stepped outside, all I could see was loads of small faces and loads of bright lights, the atmosphere was immense. As soon as I got that event over and done with I felt so happy with myself.The days went by so quick but the day I won't forget was Day 3 which was the day of the 200m final. We knew that we were doing the event the day before but it was the fact of whether I was able to do the event as there was 1 extra person. I couldn't stop thinking about it all night then when it finally came, my coach put all our names on paper and drew them one by one. Everytime a name came up which wasn't mine I kept thinking that I wasn't going to do it. Finally, 5 names later my name came up I was soooo happy, because I knew that I was going to see Bolt and Blake in person. As we was lining up in the tunnel the crowd near by was already taking pictures like we were the athletes. Then the moment finally came, as we stepped out the crowd started shouting. We placed our boxes down and then waited. Then from the corner of my eye I could see the athletes coming through, the crowd went wild ! I was kit carrying for Wallace Spearmon that evening I wasn't really aware of who he was when they mention his name but as soon as I saw him I definitely recognised him. Although I was kit carrying for him, I couldn't keep my eye off Bolt and Blake, I couldn't believe that I was literally a couple steps away from them, when the closest I ever saw them was on TV. Once we went back in the tunnel all of us just kept talking over each other with excitement comparing notes on what the athletes said to us. Then our final day came where we did the 4x400m women's relay final where I kit carried for Christine Ohuruogu, it was quite a surprise and nice at the same time as I ended my experience helping out team GB. I would like to say thanks to Coral for the opportunity as I enjoyed it a lot !
Emily Wayre My Experience at the Games
To be chosen to take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games was a delightful surprise. The test events for the Athletics went swimmingly and in addition to all the positive energy filling the stadium at the Olympic Games, behind the scenes was just as amazing. It was an absolute rush to walk out on to the track, even holding an empty box, because you knew what was coming, which was the Athletes. During the test events, it was extremely difficult to keep a straight face walking on to the track. Pure excitement ran through our team, we’d bounced off one another till it was time to put our game faces on, but even though you wouldn’t face your team mates the electricity was present throughout the time we would stand there. We all knew that we wouldn’t have to pay for our kits, but to be continuously showered with gifts was the nicest feeling in the world. To be told that we made the Games happen as well was so uplifting and it truly filled your heart with joy, which then gave you the determination to carry on with your day however tired or sore your feet were. It was truly an honour to have the opportunity to be close to the Athletes and carry their kits. It was the responsibility of a lifetime, because of the amount of love and respect that the Athletes have from people all around the world. A hop, skip and a jump later and our final shift, it was safe to say that we had not mastered a straight face, but the memories of the Games, the Athletes and the crowd have most definitely inspired me as a Young Games Maker and I look forward to sharing my stories and reliving the glorious memories. I had a fantastic team and wonderful team leaders and I cannot wait to get back to Stratford for the Paralympic Games.In my personal opinion, London can inspire a generation and never were truer words spoken.
Being a Young Games Maker for the Olympics was a good experience and I enjoyed seeing all the Athletes on and of the field of play. Taking part gave me motivation to keep training and believe that one day I would be an athlete representing my country in the next Olympics.My best moments was when I was the kit carrier for Yohan Blake 200m final and for Sanya Richards for the 4x400 relay. Being a Young Games Maker involved a lot of long training days , a lot of walking and waiting long hours in between races, neverthless it all paid off at the end. Especially when freinds and family called me to say they saw me on tv!
I would describe my Olympic volunteering experience as amazing! Due to being selected out of the thousands of applicants. Attending the test event(s) which I did prior to the Olympic games really helped me to understand clearly of what was expected of myself as a YGM ( Young Games Maker ) although a few things were slightly changed. Another helpful aspect of the experience were the booklets which I was given, as it had a map and other useful information for myself. Before attending each of my Olympic shifts I would ensure I had the correct things I.e. Accreditation, correct uniform etc. I would like to add by saying that I felt really honoured to be involved in such a large operation. The atmosphere in the stadium made it all as worth it as it was. Thank You. “Usain asked me, ‘How are you doing today?’ I couldn’t believe he was talking to me. I said I was feeling nervous for him because he had a big race. “He then said to me jokingly, ‘Do you want to run the race for me?’ I couldn’t stop smiling as the world’s fastest man was talking to me.” Chantel, of Newham, East London, was minding gear for Bolt’s Jamaican team mate Warren Weir — who took the bronze medal after fellow countryman Yohan Blake took silver. She said: “To have a joke and a laugh with Usain Bolt takes my Olympic experience to a whole new level.” Bolt also touched fists with Glen before he became the first man in history to successfully defend both the 100m and 200m titles. Glen, also from Newham, said last night: “I’m not going to wash for days.”
My Young Games Makers Expirence was an experience of a life time and i thoroughly enjoyed every minuet of it. First up on my path to helping at the olympic stadium was the Games Maker selection process where we all assembled in Canary Warf where we were set a number of challenges like making a potential advertisement for the Games not to mention building a monument symbolising the games. After finding out that we had been chosen a Young Games Maker Team we were to attend numerous Training events so that we were well practiced in picking up our boxes and carrying them at 90 degrees to the body and walking miles with them The games rapidly approached we got offered tickets to the technical rehearsal of the opening ceremony which we all attended, and was one of my highlights of the entire games it was spectacular being in the full finished stadium and really got us excited for when work started. Finally out shifts had arrived, our chance to actually see some games first hand. We saw some amazing moments for example working on the 200m mens final and seeing Yohan Blake in the lane next to me and Usain Bolt ahead of me and being able to watch the race first hand afterwards also seeing Mo Farah in his 5,000m heats and final. These are all amazing experience that i will never forget