Megan Trace (far left) and the other Young Ambassadors with Gary, their mentor. Outside the Hyde Park POD. All won the excellence badges for their work!
GUEST POST: MEGAN TRACE
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1. Why Did You Volunteer To Be a London Ambassador?
I volunteered to be a London Ambassador because I am passionate about the city that I live in. I was only 9 years old when London won the bid, and I remember our headteacher writing how incredible it would be if pupils could be involved in the Games. I was determined from that point onwards to have some form of involvement in the Olympics. It was my dream to compete in the women’s football after being coached by Rachel Yankey who played for Team GB at London 2012, but I was plagued by injuries so quit the sport a few years ago.
I didn’t want to give up with being involved, so I kept an eye out for other opportunities. I found out about being a London Ambassador on the day the scheme was launched, and went straight for it. I wasn’t that confident that I’d be successful as my recruitment stage was really tough, but was over the moon when I got an email on my 16th birthday telling me that I’d been successful!
2. Where Were You Located?
I was located at Hyde Park during the first week of the Olympics, from 27th July to the 1st of August.
3. My Location was a Good Place to Volunteer Because….
… we had such a variety of questions. The Hyde Park pod was located at Speaker’s Corner, so with close proximity to Oxford Street as well at the Hyde Park Live Site, people were asking us all sorts of questions. The only issue we found was that it was very weather-orientated, and things were a little quiet on our first day because it was raining quite a bit.
4. What Was Your Highlight?
The highlight of volunteering for me was meeting so many new people. The atmosphere was amazing, everyone was so happy during the Games and it was great to see so many people celebrating. The general mood before the Games was that too much money was being spent on it, but as soon as the Olympics kicked off, everyone wanted it to be an event to remember!
5. What Was The Hardest Question You Were Asked?
Hmm, this is a tricky one! I think the hardest questions were the ones to do with tickets. Many tourists came to London expecting to be able to get tickets here, and were disappointed when they discovered that most of them had sold out. Being based at a kiosk pod too also meant that people thought we were a ticket office, and that they could collect their tickets from us. As the official Hyde Park ticket office wasn’t open during my shifts, some people got quite frustrated when they realised they’d have to go elsewhere to collect their tickets.
6. Which Was your Favourite Visitor?
There’s too many to name! I couldn’t possibly pick a particular favourite, but we met a couple from the USA whose grandchildren had asked for a long list of presents from London, and it would no doubt be an early Christmas when they returned home. We also met two guys who’d flown over from Australia at 5am, and by 8am they were already out and jogging around Hyde Park!
Another favourite were the Canadian people we met, whose event didn’t start until the afternoon in Greenwich so they were looking for things to do. We recommended that walked down to Parliament, take a river boat cruise down to the North Greenwich Arena and take a ride on the Emirates Air Line over the Thames to get aerial views over London, which they thought sounded like a brilliant idea.
7. Which Resource Did You Consult Most?
I mainly consulted the resource booklet that we were given for the specific locations. After every shift, I would write down notes in the booklet of the questions we were asked the most during the day, or ones that we found we didn’t have an answer for, and I’d then research these when I got home.
8. Did You Visit Olympic / Paralympic Related Events in London?
8. Did You Have a Favourite Wenlock throughout The City?
10. What Would You Like To Say To Boris?
Thank you so much for this opportunity. It’s hugely boosted my confidence, which has proven to be really helpful as I’ve just started at a new school but I’m not afraid to make new friends! This is just the beginning of my volunteering career, and I’m saving up to be a part of Glasgow 2014 and Rio 2016!
Megan Trace is my 2nd Guest Post. She was one of the Young London Ambassadors. Megan’s fantastic Olympic Photo’s can be seen on Tumblr. Over this coming year, I am featuring a number of Games Volunteers and Games Visitors talking about their experience of London 2012!
**Lord Sebastian Coe in his closing speech at The Olympics Closing Ceremony said all the Volunteers had the right to carry the phrase ‘I made London 2012’ as a badge of honour.