Volunteers in running for 2014 Games role

THOUSANDS of people signed up on the first day to be volunteers at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, flooding the website, phone lines and the drop-in centre to pledge their interest.

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  • Ronnie McGowan is front runner Games volunteer
    Ronnie McGowan is front runner Games volunteer
  • Ronnie McGowan is front runner Games volunteer

Since applications officially opened on Monday, there has been a Games frenzy. With 18months to go until the competition begins, MATTY SUTTON spoke to some of those who were first in the queue to be part of the sporting extravaganza -

RONNIE McGowan started his career as a maths teacher at Riverside Secondary School in Dalmarnock in 1976.

Now, at the age of 60, he has signed up to take part in the event that centres around the Athletes Village being constructed on the side of his old school in Springfield Road.

Mr McGowan, from Kelvindale, is one of the front runner volunteers for Glasgow 2014.

That means he will be involved specifically within Pre-Games planning. He will help to interview and train the 25,000 applicants who make it through to the final stage of the volunteer recruitment programme.

And he is hopeful he will also be chosen as one of the 15,000 volunteers to play a role during the Games.

During the 2012 Olympics he spent 11 weeks as a volunteer at Heathrow Airport, issuing accreditation to athletes and other visitors arriving to take part in the Olympics and Paralympics.

He was the first point of contact and met the Brazilian football team, track athletes, politicians and other celebrities arriving for the Games.

Mr McGowan said: "The atmosphere at Heathrow was very busy, it was exciting, and when plane loads of athletes arrived it could be vibrant, chatty and noisy, but, overall, it was exciting being involved.

"I saw how the process works, saw athletes coming past my desk, gave them an accreditation and I was also lucky enough to get into the stadium to see a few events. I would see these same athletes walking out on to the track.

"It is nice to see them coming into the country, walking by your desk, joking with you, chatting with you and then see them performing."

During the Olympics, Mr McGowan met the leader of the Games Maker choir, Liz Stainthorp, and performed with some members of the group at the Commonwealth Games volunteer campaign launch on Monday at Glasgow Central Station.

An MP who volunteered at the Olympics in London has already pledged his help for Glasgow 2014.

Tom Greatrex, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, was the only MP or MSP to volunteer as a Games Maker for the 2012 Olympics.

He was part of the transport team at Hampden Park for the football tournament and, along with the rest of the team, was responsible for ensuring the teams, supplies, equipment and important guests made it to and from the stadium.

Mr Greatrex said: "Volunteering for the Olympics at Hampden was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

"The achievement of the Olympics was getting people who would not normally volunteer involved."

Several city councillors have signed up to be volunteers at the Games.

So far around 10,000 people have applied to help out with key roles at the event, hoping to emulate the success of the Games Makers at the London Olympics last year.

Graeme Hendry, SNP council group leader, said he and many of his group have pledged to sign up and some have already submitted their applications.

To sign up, go to: www.glasgow2014.com/volunteer

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