Our man at the Olympic’s long road to the Games

Charlie Last, who is a Dronfield Carpeteer, Chain Gang charity cyclist and Olympic Game Maker.
Charlie Last, who is a Dronfield Carpeteer, Chain Gang charity cyclist and Olympic Game Maker.
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DRONFIELD Olympic volunteer Charlie Last is coming to grips with his role and responsibilities as a Games Maker with the event’s media centre.

So far his latest up-dates for the Derbyshire Times’ website have outlined his experiences with fellow volunteers, a gruelling commute and reflections on the Olympic spirit.

Today, July 30, Charlie who is based in digs in East London and who we has dubbed himself Our Man in Stratford has defined his work for our readers to consider.

He told the Derbyshire Times during his latest web blog: “Thought you might be interested in the role I have at the Olympics, where I’m based and the process involved getting to where I am now.

“My job title is Media Transport Desk Team Member. My role and that of my fellow team members is to help the media with any queries they may have about their transport needs during the Olympics.

“Most of the numbers involved in the Olympics are staggering. Some are in this piece, including the statistic that out of 70,000 Games Maker Olympic volunteers, 22,000 are directly involved in transport.

“For the Media to cover the Olympics effectively, a transport system is supplied covering the Olympic Park venues including Olympic London Venues like Hampton Court for the cycling time trial and Olympic co-city venues like Old Trafford stadium, Manchester, for the football.

“There are two locations for the media based in the North West corner of the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. The International Broadcast Centre and the Main Press Centre. From here, the Media are provided with the facilities, services and information to enable them to report on the Games to an estimated worldwide audience of a staggering 4bn people.

“The building is vast. I understand that three 747 aircraft could fit in easily. So finding my way around is a task in itself.

“Media is the general term used for both press and broadcast. Press is the general term used to describe written press and photographers. Broadcast is the general term used to describe television and radio organisations.

“20,000 broadcasters are located in the IBC (studios and temporary games time facilities) and 5,800 press, photographers have access to the MPC.

“My recruitment process started with adverts in the press, TV and radio for volunteers to apply to be Games Maker volunteers.

“An extensive on-line application was to be submitted detailing qualifications, availability, preferences and crucially, why I wanted to become a Games Maker.

“250,000 applications were submitted. This number was reduced to 100,000 that were invited for interview. Mine took place at Warwick University in Coventry, where we were given more information on what being a Games Maker entailed, and a short 15 minute interview.

“70,000 were offered roles as Games Makers – I was one of the lucky ones. We then had to attend at least three training sessions. The first was Orientation, held at Wembley Arena in February 2012. There were a staggering seven sessions of 10,000 Games Makers each held where we were given insight in a number of differing roles, our uniform and the core values of being the public face of the Olympics.

“But crucially, I think these sessions were to show us the vastness of what we were about to become involved in. To be in that audience really brought home that there were a lot of us and we were important.

“Next was Role Specific training, held at a college in Hackney in March. This is were I met some of my fellow Transport Team members. Again, the core values of service, co-operation, flexibility and team work were emphasised along with practical training for my specific role.

“Next was Venue Specific Training in June when we were given a quick tour of the Olympic Park and an in depth tour of the IBC and MPC and were shown where we would be based.

“This was also the first time I met members of my Media Transport Desk colleges, team leaders and line managers. So that was training done, so having made another trip to London to collect my uniform and accreditation, I was all ready for the Olympics to start...”

Keep an eye out on the Derbyshire Times’ website for up-dates on Charlie’s experiences and see this week’s August 2 edition of the newspaper.