Categories
Sport Volunteering

Memories of London 2012 – Paralympics

Salford August 2012
There have been a number of camps throughout the city, hosting athletes from many nations and in many sports in relation to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Brazil were no different, and used venues up and down the city from the Regional Athletic Arena at Sportcity  to the Manchester Aquatics centre on Oxford Road. Athletes also trained at the Amechi Centre for wheelchair basketball as well as Manchester Metropolitan University’s Sugden Sports Centre – who hosted athletes
for wheelchair fencing, Boccia, and Sitting Volleyball.

A couple of the vollies (including me) had fond memories of the training camp venues, as they’d been used at the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and also at prestige sporting events throughout the ten years leading up to the Olympics in London in 2012.

Now it’s not that the sport of Sitting Volleyball was new to me – I’d been part of the team that helped out when they hosted a Challenge match as part of the BT Paralympic world cup.  Upon hearing this news – the Volunteer Manager made me Team Leader for the Sitting Volleyball Squad!

In my role as Volunteer Team Leader, I assisted with court setup and aided the vollies on the Volleyball courts in the fine arts of the rules of the game and where we fitted in – in relation to the game and training – simply put “passing the ball back!” when instructed.

And the game was fast paced – the ball was constantly moving – if it wasn’t in the hands of the retrievers!  As part of my role – I was also became custodian for the volleyballs and the scoring system – putting them back in storage every day.

The Brazil team were warm and friendly visitors to the centre and were brilliant to help out.  At set times, the Brazil teams played Paralympics GB in a series of Warm up games – which we also helped as ball crew.

As reward for our efforts, each volunteer got a “Teamwork” Baton from LOCOG – London’s Organising Committee for the Paralympics.

All the volunteers were welcomed and thanked by the Manchester Management of London 2012, and I raised a smile when the Brazil Team headed up the Opening Ceremony at Rio 2016….

I worked with some of those guys….:)

Photos of my time at the training camp are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/inkdropk/sets/72157631198677864/

Hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them

Categories
Poetry Sport Sports writing

The Runner (Paralympic)

A tale on the Paralympian, Johnnie Peacock – Dedicated to all the Athletes at @ParalympicsGB taking part in the Rio Olympiad

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It’s not just the short burst of speed

It’s not the ability for opponents to fear your name

It’s not the fancy kit that makes you fast

 

No –

Its all that work that you put in

(Not only in the training gym)

The time you give up to make you win

 

How far you go – it’s down to you

but at home we’re all cheering  the things that you do

in front of our TVs were all stuck like glue

 

So when you look down the Golden Track

when the pistol sounds – there’s no looking back

Chasing those medals and records of old

 

(Bronze, Silver and of course Gold)

 

Categories
Acrostic Cycling Poetry Sport Sports

Sprint (Paralympic)

In honour of Dame Sarah Storey – who’s just become the UKs most decorated Paralympian.

 

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Dame Sarah Storey – Cutout Art by author from an original c/o Roadcycling.com

 

 

Surpassing all others on two wheels

Paralympic gold tally record – broken

Rio watches and applauds your achievement

In getting the record number of golds

New dame holding the record – that’s gone from the swimming stadium

To the Track of a different kind – the velodrome

Categories
Life Memories Sport Sports Volunteering

Legacy

Salford, 11th March 2016

In response to the Daily Post Prompt Legacy

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They say a Legacy is something left behind after you are gone.

Something to remember you by.

This is definitely true for the Legacy of the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002.

You see, it may have been a short sports competition, smaller than the Olympics but it led to so much more.

Athletics took off in a big way in the city thanks to the Commonwealth Experience. After the Glorious Competition which saw Sale Harriers Darren Campbell lead the Anchor leg for England in the City of Manchester stadium, the athletes moved in to the training track next door – the Regional Athletics Arena.  A perfect compact venue for athletics, and one that would host world class events, world, Olympic and commonwealth trials long after the track would leave the stadium and become a home for Manchester City Football Club.

And as part of that legacy. The Regional Athletic Arena has hosted training for schools and colleges around Greater Manchester, as well as worldwide.

The GMEX – Now known as Manchester Central – Hosted Judo and Badminton Contests during the games.  It is one of the largest conference venues in the country, but still hosts Concerts and Sporting Contests, Most recently the World Taekwondo Grand Prix.

Swimming was another sport which Manchester’s locals took to their hearts, as
in 2008 the city became host of the FINA world swimming championships. Training took place in the Manchester Aquatics Centre whilst the event Itself took place in the Manchester Arena, another commonwealth venue, which bedazzled the crowds with its wonderful lightshow and effects

Cycling is another sport which has benefited from Manchester, as home to the UK Cycling team.  The City has been proud hosts of the World Championships in 2008 and regularly hosts major Cycling Events in the National Cycling Centre – which now hosts a purpose built BMX track for supercross events.

When London was awarded the Olympics and Paralympics , Paralympic Sport was already in the eyesight of Manchester, as the city hosted the IPC Paralympic world cup event – covering a number of events in the lead up before and up to the London Games  – The Games Focused on Four Key Sports – Athletics, Swimming, Cycling and Wheelchair Basketball.  As the years progressed Sitting Volleyball and Boccia were added to the programme

The Australian Swim team trained at the aquatics centre during the run up to Olympics, and during the Paralympics Brazils Paralympians based themselves in and around the University Campus in Manchester, Focusing on Sitting Volleyball, Athletics, Wheelchair Basketball and Fencing. When the sport began in earnest – Old Trafford was the home of the group stages of the Olympic Football contest.

And every one of these events was manned by a cast of fantastic volunteers – some who have become personal friends along the way.  We received plenty of training in our roles and some have become organisers of volunteers at other events.

As for me – I continue my role with Sale Harriers at the Regional Athletic Arena and turn up at other venues when required…and my own reminder – hangs proudly on the bedroom wall – A commemorative medal and certificate from the Manchester games, and a baton from the London Games – then there’s the kits and the pins and the rest…A plaque dedicated to the 10,000 volunteers rests by the new athletic arena, by a glass wall dedicated to the gold medal winners

When the flag was passed on from Manchester’s games it didn’t stop the action, after all as the Banner at the Aquatics centre says – “We do things differently here

Categories
Sport Volunteering

My Treasured Possessions

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Pride and Joy.”

This one is a bit of a tough question to ponder, over the years i’ve collected a number of certificates to do with either Education and Training – leading eventually to the award of a HND from Manchester Metropolitan University.  I went through the Graduation Ceremony and the picture for a time hung happily in the lounge in the family home.

but as much effort i put in – that wasn’t my most cherished possessions

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Those would have to be the Medal and Certificate issued to me during Manchester’s Commonwealth Games (working in Technology) and the Relay Baton and Certificate issued to me during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, where i was involved in Manchester in a number of roles,  From helping run the crew room as a steward during the Olympic Football Competition to helping the Aussie Olympic Team in their Training.  During the Paralympics – I was at Manchester University helping organise the team assisting the Brazil Paralympic Squad – Namely the Sitting Volleyball Team and the Wheelchair Basketball Team.

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The staff were really glad to have me on board – I’d had prior knowledge of both sports during my volunteering at the IPC Paralympic world cup, an official Paralympic competition held in the run up to London hosting the Paralympic Games – I helped set up the courts at the training venue and briefed the squads on their duties

For my efforts i recieved a certificate and a baton – and thanks from both sets of athletes.