CHESTERFIELD Borough Council employee and Healthy Living Centre worker Heather Gourlay has begun her work as a volunteer at the London Paralympics and below she has shared her thoughts with the Derbyshire Times.
She said: “I’m going through a phase of grabbing every opportunity that comes my way and being able to help as a Paralympic Games’ volunteer in London is going to be an incredible once in a lifetime opportunity that I couldn’t afford to miss.
“A couple of years ago I went to Australia and I have also been a dancer at Disneyland Paris and it is going to be such an honour to be able to play a part in the 2012 Paralympics.
“I applied to be a Games Makers volunteer back in 2011 and after a phone interview and training days my challenge is now underway and I will finish on September 5.
“I will be working as a Way Finder based in and around Greenwich Park for the Equestrian events, helping spectators to and from the arena and into the park.
“I’m very excited to be involved and seeing the spectators getting behind the competitors will make for an amazing atmosphere.
“These Paralympians are an inspiration to us all. Even with disabilities they not only get on with their lives but they compete at such a high, international level.
“Sometimes, I might wake up with a headache and have a moan but when you realise what these Paralympians overcome every day it makes you think twice.
“I chose to apply for a Games Maker post as it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I believe these games will inspire a generation.
“As a Chesterfield Cobras volleyball player and Healthy Living Centre leisure centre employee, I enjoy taking part in sports so getting to see so many other different events in such a high pressure, competitive environment really appeals.
“It will also be a fantastic cosmopolitan event, as I expect to meet a lot people from all over the world coming to support their countries.
“I expect to have very sore feet at the end of my shifts and if it rains I may get a little wet, but it will be worthwhile because I’m looking forward to being in such an electric environment where no one will mind if it is raining. This is one of the biggest sporting events the world and come rain or shine I will have a smile on my face welcoming spectators.”