My voluntary role with the World Police & Fire Games started on Friday 2 August. I was placed in the Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex at the swimming event helping the administration side with the medals team.
Overall more than 100 events took place over the three days. I volunteered Friday, Saturday and finished on Sunday evening. My shifts were unexpectedly busy. We delivered over 600 medals to the athletes. My specific role was to unwrap the medals and put them in the correct order as the officials from Swim Ulster called them out. We were given the results so we were able to check that the medals were given to the right competitors. This procedure was very intense as the medals were presented at a very fast pace.
We had different VIPs presenting medals to the athletes including The Mayor of North Down, Andrew Muir, Dame Mary Peters, Deputy Chief Constable, Judith Gillespie and the President of Swim Ireland, Mary Phelan.
When all the medals were ready to be handed out, the team carrying the medals walked alongside the VIPs to the podium. The ceremonies were very frequent so the medals team had to ensure that the relevant VIP was ready and waiting to present them. There was a great atmosphere and all the athletes congratulated each other. The medals team were very pleasant to work with. The volunteer announcer whose name was Alison did a fantastic job. She had a very clear voice. I also met Dame Mary Peters and she was lovely.
I also helped people if they had any queries. My experience of the athletes was fantastic. I have met some on my travels and had a photograph taken with Australian athletes. It was great to see people from various age groups taking part in the swimming event. We had a athlete who was over 80 who won quite a few medals.
The legacy of these games hopefully will make people want to volunteer in their local community. Some of the volunteers including myself have signed up to help with swimming galas in the future with Swim Ulster.