Why did you decide to get involved in the London 2012 Games?
I am a sport enthusiast, and over the years have often been glued to the TV screen to watch Olympics events – not just the iconic events like the 100 metres, but even some events like rowing or archery or cycling which normally I would never bother with! When the host city was chosen for 2012, way back in 2005 in Singapore, I watched the ceremony live on a big screen which had been erected in University House at lunchtime: when London was announced as the winner I let out a celebratory cheer, but quickly suppressed it when I realised that a group of French students were standing nearby (Paris had been the favourite to win)!
I never thought I would see the Olympics held in England, so when the result was announced I decided there and then that I would take the family to watch some Olympics events, and that I should be involved in the organisation of the Games in some way.
What process did you have to follow to become a selection event volunteer?
I first heard about the Selection Event Volunteer role around Christmas time, via an email from the Coventry Partnership. I completed an online application form, and then waited … and waited (I have since realised that there are long leadtimes with anything to do with the Olympics!). Eventually, around the beginning of May, after telling myself that my application had either been lost or unsuccessful – I received an email from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) inviting me to an interview at the Xcel Centre in Canley. I went along, listened to a presentation by the Head of Volunteering for 2012, and was then interviewed by an Olympics official. Soon after, I heard that I had been successful.
What training did you have to undertake?
We all attended a one day training course, which was held at Radcliffe House on Saturday 4 June. The course took us through background information about the London Olympics, what will be expected of us as a SEV, and how we should conduct the interviews. Although many SEVs (including me) volunteered because they had experience of interviewing for jobs, it was explained quite early on in the day that these interviews would not be like any others we had ever done.
What does the Selection Event volunteer role involve?
Around 250,000 people applied to be volunteers for the London Olympics, and these were whittled down to around 100,000 by LOCOG, based on applicants' online applications. Around 70,000 volunteers ("Games Makers") will be needed for 2012 (there are more than 300 different roles!), so the role of the SEVs, operating at various centres across the UK, is to recruit 70,000 from the 100,000 who will attend the Selection Events for face to face interviews. At the Coventry Selection Events, to be held at the Sports Centre on campus over a 7 week period, we will be interviewing 10,000 people. We have been asked to work a minimum of 4 shifts during that period, doing 6 or 7 interviews in the shift – they will be coming through thick and fast, so it sounds as though it will be a bit hectic!
Have you applied for Olympic tickets? Have you been successful?
I applied for four different London events, but have not had any money taken from my bank account so far, which is very disappointing for myself and my family. But there will be other chances to obtain tickets as the year goes on. And there's always the football at the City of Coventry stadium!
Where will you be watching the Games next year?
Hopefully, we will be watching some of the events live in London, but otherwise at home on the TV.
Trevor Seeley, Head of Stakeholder Relations, Communications Office