Commonwealth Games part 2

Well what a fantastic time we’ve had. Being a Clydesider has surpassed all my expectations and I would recommend volunteering at a major event to you all. The folk of Glasgow were wonderfully friendly as were all the tourists, athletes, workers and just about everyone that I spoke to. I’ve high fived people I don’t know and will probably never see again and have laughed loud and long with lovely people. Great.
The detail since I last blogged was that the shifts continued with me working at four sites, three of which housed the technical officials who were officiating at the sports across Glasgow, and one which was an athletes practice venue at Ravens Craig. This site allowed me to watch some of the gymnasts practising which was a rare treat and a real view of what goes on in the background.
After the opening ceremony the serious business of the games started and we managed to see quite a bit of it. I went with my friend Ebon to see the triathlon relay which was fantastic and really exciting. The English team were hot favourites and lived up to their rating winning by a good margin. We watched from the top of the loch and had a great view of the cycle part of the race and could see the running as well.
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The Brownlee boys were excellent again and all very impressive.
Roger and I had tickets for the rugby 7’s which were again very exciting we saw 12 matches which we’re all fast and furious and great fun. Some mismatched teams saw some huge scores, but a fantastic atmosphere and great fun.
We managed to see three sessions of the athletics at Hampden Park which was a great venue. Over the three sessions we saw most of the decathlon, the high jump, the long jump heats, triple jump, hammer and lots of hurdles. All very impressive and exciting. I really loved the fact that the para sports were interspersed between the other sports which ensured that the para athletes enjoyed the same fantastic Hampden roar. It was great. I was particularly impressed win David Weir in the wheel chair racing. He was so impressive.

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Whilst I was working with the technical officials I was struck by their enthusiasm for the squash doubles which they said were always unpredictable and great fun. Four people dashing around a small court always makes for potential disaster. I was persuaded that it would be a good evenings entertainment and managed to get last minute tickets. It was fantastic. The glass cube they played in was truly impressive and the games were huge. Great skill, speed and agility.

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We also popped into the table tennis whilst we were there. Again hugely skilled.
We found time to re visit the fantastic Greek restaurant that we’d found last week, this time with our friends Ebun and Michael. We had a fantastic evening laughing and joking as though we’d known each other for years. Maybe something I can blog extensively about in the future!!
Roger and my shifts didn’t always align well so we both had time whilst the other was working. I used my time mostly in one of the festival sites and really enjoyed Merchant City and Glasgow green where there was lots to see and do. I loved the street theatre including this.

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On Friday we had hoped to catch Ken Bruce recording his live show at the BBC quay but didn’t get in. We did however get a very comfy sofa next to the tent in which it was being recorded, from where we could see the big screen with Ken Bruce on one side and lawn bowls on the other. Bliss. Good sport whilst we were entertained with live music from Texas, Amy McDonald and The Overtones. the sofa was so comfy that we stayed there until after lunch when Roger had to go to his shift.
Sunday was our last full day in Glasgow and the weather wasn’t great. The rain was biblical at times which meant that viewing the men’s road cycling race was soggy. We did watch them on the road for a few spells before finding an inside big screen. I do admire the athletes, volunteers and officials that were out in the rain for the entire time to allow the race to happen and wasn’t it exciting.

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On Sunday evening I headed off to my last shift to be offered a last minute ticket for the closing ceremony – and possibly two so Roger could come. What a bonus for Roger and I as we headed off to Hampden with the masses to enjoy a wonderful party. I loved the athletes getting into and out of the tents and their enthusiasm for the whole event. Kylie and Lulu we’re both great and the evening was a great celebration of the last 11 days and looking to the future for Gold Coast CWG 2018. What a fantastic way to finish off our experience as Clydesiders. It was simply fantastic.

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Our Glasgow experience finished off with breakfast together with our fellow Clydesider volunteers who had been camping together at Hamilton rugby club. Thanks Nick. We managed to present Alan and Nick with a special present, although I’m not sure they thought an England flag was very special or that anyone else will get a photo of the two of them holding it. Thanks Alan and Nick you did a fab job.

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Glasgow was great, being a Clydesider was great. The people we met were fantastic and I’m looking forward to my next volunteer experience. Anyone else fancy joining us in Gold Coast CWG 2018?
Until then we move on to Edinburgh to enjoy the delights of the fringe and the tattoo. To adopt a Glasgow phrase – Bring it on!

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