A taste of the Olympics in Glasgow

Katie Clucas
Young people's sport panel.

As anticipated, the summer of 2012 has proven a fantastic, exciting and proud time to work in sport. I am fortunate that my job allows me to provide sporting opportunities to the local community throughout Glasgow. As an Assistant Sport Development Officer working on Cadbury’s Spots v Stripes community programme I encourage residents from a variety of communities in Glasgow to participate in sports and physical activity at various events.

In the last few weeks there has been a real buzz at the events I attend, with participants wanting to ‘play tennis like Andy Murray’, ‘run as fast as Usain Bolt’ and ‘be a top athlete like Jess Ennis’. References to these sporting heroes are encouraging and back up the aims of London 2012 to ‘inspire a generation’. 

The medal success of Team GB has been reflected within Glasgow, with many members of the local community wanting to participate in sports after watching the Games. Participants at our events have been keen to talk to myself, my colleague and our volunteers about their positive views of the Games.

During the Olympics I chatted with visitors within the Gorbals Leisure Centre in Glasgow about the Games and their reason for participating in sports on the particular day. One visitor took her toddler to tumble tots and swimming and claimed the 2012 Games had inspired her to do so. Another couple were playing badminton and were excited to participate more after watching some of the action.

I did my bit for the Games in Glasgow, by volunteering in the GAP (Glasgow Ambassador Programme) during the Olympic football at Hampden. As Ambassadors, our main responsibility was to welcome the world to Glasgow. Each Ambassador was asked to volunteer for a minimum of 3 shifts, either at Hampden, Merchant City or both. 

I witnessed a fantastic buzz around Hampden, it gave Glasgow a taste of the atmosphere in London and the opportunity to showcase our hosting skills for The Commonwealth Games in 2014. It was a fantastic experience being able to help spectators from around the world, directing them to transport hubs, offering to take photos of groups and providing them with information on the Merchant City Festival which was coinciding with the Games. There was a great sense of a party atmosphere around Hampden and I am grateful I was able to experience that along with more than 160 Ambassadors who share the same passion for sport and/or Glasgow.

As a reward for our volunteers on the Spots v Stripes programme, Cadbury’s have provided us with Paralympic tickets to a wheelchair tennis event. I will be travelling down to London with three volunteers on the 2nd September, this should be a fantastic day and an opportunity to watch some great sport.
With the 2014 Commonwealth Games around the corner, Glasgow now has the exciting task of not only maintaining the excitement of 2012 and delivering a great sporting event on a world stage but also creating a legacy and hopefully use 2014 as a driving force for sport in Scotland.

Working in the Commonwealth Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome it’s not hard to feel inspired, walking into this amazing venue every week day is a welcomed reminder of my passion, interest and reason for being involved in sport.