The main event (23rd July)

I woke up super excited on Wednesday, the day of the opening ceremony. The excitement was palpable on the train as my fellow Clyde-siders and I made our way to Celtic Park and the weather was beautiful.

As field of play first aiders we needed to be able to get a cast member off the arena as quickly as possible without causing too much disruption to the performance, so during the afternoon we practiced this in the blazing sunshine.

I don’t need to describe the opening ceremony as I’m sure everyone watched it on the TV, I can only put into words the amazing experience I had that night. The atmosphere was electric way before the performance even started and was off the scale once Des Clarke had finished his warm up.

My partner Scott and I were well positioned at gate one, just to the left side of the big screen, which meant we had a fantastic view of the performance and of all the stars as they left the stage, Rod Stewart definitely blew a kiss at me when he walked off. It was so easy to get caught up in the spectacular sight and forget that I was there to do a job.

It was the first time in my life, and maybe the only time, that I got to sing the national anthem in the presence of the Queen and I felt so proud to be British.  The atmosphere hit the roof when the athletes came into the stadium, but the noise was so deafening when the home team arrived that the arena floor seemed to shake and at that moment I wished I was Scottish!

I have to say that night was probably one of the best in my life so far and even the hour long wait for the train couldn’t dampen the wonderful feeling inside I had after such a fantastic day.

opening ceremony

And so it begins (19th July)

My first shift as a Clydesider, (the official name for Games volunteers), was the first rehearsal for the opening ceremony at Celtic Park. We were all given 2 tickets to watch one of the rehearsals to use or to give to friends and family. I gave mine to my hosts as I was working at both of the performances.

I must admit initially when I was walking to the train station I felt very conspicuous in my bright red uniform, but that uniform got me free travel throughout the Games so I wasn’t complaining. Once I was on the train though I saw many more Clydesiders and we were linked by a common purpose. Being involved in something like this meant that I was never without someone to talk to, be it another volunteer or a member of the public interested in what I was doing.

clydesider carole

Unfortunately the weather was dreadful, so it was a very soggy walk from the station to Celtic Park. After negotiating security I set off on the mammoth task of locating the rest of the first aid team in an enormous stadium. We did have a tour to orientate us but that just resulted in more confusion about our whereabouts at any given time.

Once all the briefing was done, the first aid equipment bum bags and radios were given out it was time to section off into teams and go to our locations. My team definitely drew the short straw as we were placed outside the arena in a first aid tent so we could attend to the spectators as they arrived and exited the stadium. The rain was relentless until just before the ceremony started, but it made the arena floor very slippery and I was surprised there weren’t any injuries in the cast.

First aid dream team

I had wonderful team mates in Chelsey, Christine and John and we really bonded well out there in the cold and wet.  Our only call that shift was a little old man with cramp in his leg as he was coming out of the stadium.

The extended train times weren’t in operation so once we were released from our post we had to power walk down to the station and got the train with just minutes to spare.

The day was exhausting but hugely enjoyable.

first shift done