2014... Calling all youngsters

FOR the past two years, hundreds of youngsters from across Scotland have been taking part in a leadership and volunteering campaign.

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Clyde the Glasgow 2014 Mascot is joined by young students -- Mike Sherry, Kate Galbraith, Lauren Purdie, Katherine Kinloch, Kimberley Young and Rory Elrick -- who have all registered their interest in volunteering at the Games ...and he's looking for lots more!
Clyde the Glasgow 2014 Mascot is joined by young students -- Mike Sherry, Kate Galbraith, Lauren Purdie, Katherine Kinloch, Kimberley Young and Rory Elrick -- who have all registered their interest in volunteering at the Games ...and he's looking for lots more!

Now, as 2014 looms, 16 to 18-year-olds are being targeted again, but this time to use their skills to make the biggest sporting event to hit the country a big success.

In the final day of her week-long look at how invaluable volunteers will be at the 2014 Games, Matty Sutton met some of the younger people who want to be involved

YOUNG people are being urged to come forward and sign up as volunteers for the Commonwealth Games.

And organisers are promising they will gain skills from their experiences which will be invaluable in the world of work.

One of the first young people to get her application sent off was 18-year-old student Katherine Kinloch.

She is studying for a HND in Events Management at the City of Glasgow College and is certain being part of the games will be a great chance for her to leave her mark.

Katherine, from Mount Vernon, said: "I am really excited because I am wanting to do events management in the future, so I think it is a great opportunity to get in and be a part of history, because I think it is going to be the biggest thing to happen in Glasgow.

"I have helped out at a few events within Scotland, like music events for some charities, and I am really keen to help out.

"I think it will give you some experience, which is great for a CV, and you will have such a great time having fun and there's so many people you can meet and great opportunities.

"I think 2012 whet Glasgow's appetite for the Games and it just got us excited to prepare for 2014 and I think it is great that so many younger people can be involved in it."

Katherine would like to go to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome as she is convinced the impressive new building has transformed the East End and is a symbol of better things to come for Glasgow.

She said: "I think it is great, it is going to be an historic thing. Glasgow used to be one of the biggest cities and this is it just building back up.

"It is going to be so big and it will be really exciting, there will be so many tourists up and I think it will be really good for businesses.

"It would be so unforgettable having those eight days during the games, I just think it would be amazing, getting to see the training, hopefully, or something like that.

"It would be a once in a lifetime opportunity."

Organisers at Glasgow 2014 are aiming to recruit up to 15,000 volunteers to help out with all aspects of the Games from handing out uniforms to volunteers, to working on transport help desks and directing crowds into the venues.

Rona McIntosh, volunteer co-ordinator for recruitment and selection, said the Games would offer young people real skills to take them forward into their careers.

She said: "We are just very keen to have as many young people as possible.

"It develops their skill sets and expertise and establishes a good precedent for the future generation to take into the workforce and to improve their employment related skills as well as anything else and to give them a life enhancing experience."

For the past two years, Rona has also been managing the Lead 2014 programme, which aims to get young people involved in the Games.

It offers 21 hours of training to students who are then asked to organise a conference at seven of Scotland's universities, including Strathclyde University in Glasgow, to share their learning with more young people aged between 14 and 18 who attend.

These students are tasked with taking the lessons out into the community by organising Commonwealth festivals for their local primary schools.

So far nearly 1000 students have been involved in the project, which will run until March 2014.

Rona hopes that many of those who have taken part in the programme will put their names forward as volunteers, and they have been given special codes to submit with their application so interviewers can identify them.

Although this does not guarantee them an interview, it does mean that the training they have undergone will be recognised.

Rona said they are looking for positive, enthusiastic young people who have a real passion, whether it be for volunteering, sport, culture, Scotland or Glasgow.

She added: "[People] that really just want to be part of being at the Games and not just watching the Games happen, but making a real difference to ensuring that this is the best volunteering programme we could possibly have."

Also keen to volunteer for the Games is Sport Coaching with Development of Sport student Lauren Purdie.

Lauren, 18, from Bargeddie in Coatbridge, is in the first year of her HND at City of Glasgow College and is keen to get as much volunteering experience as she can to help with her course.

She has already been involved with coaching young children in basketball and football.

Lauren said: "I think it would be a great opportunity, for classes like ourselves that do sports events, so I think something as big as that, to be involved in it as well, then it looks really good.

"To be part of something as big as that for Glasgow, but again it helps us to get to a career we want to progress onto as well.

"I think it is really exciting, it is great to show what Glasgow and Scotland can offer.

"It would just be an amazing feeling to say you were there and you helped out and you were a part of bringing everything together.

"Even if it was the smallest of jobs you still took part in it and you were still part of the biggest thing that has probably happened to Scotland."

matty.sutton@eveningtimes.co.uk

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