There are 100 days to go until the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games! That’s why the London 2012 team has created a 100 things to do in the run up to the Olympics, right here in the West Midlands, so you can play your part in this once-in-a-lifetime event.
From planting red, white and blue window boxes and lining the streets to welcome the Olympic Torch, to staging your own Community Games, watching Olympic Football and witnessing world class cultural performances. It’s all happening right here in the West Midlands.
If you need some inspiration before getting started, here are some stories from people across the region who are already having their London 2012 moment right here in the West Midlands.
Alan Buckle, from Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, is volunteering at the City of Coventry Stadium.
Alan Buckle, aged 64, was managing director at one of the region’s key transport and logistics companies before moving into business consultancy. At London 2012, his Gamesmaker volunteering role is in the International Relations team responsible for Protocol, based at the City of Coventry Stadium.
This is his first volunteer role. His job is to meet greet and take care of members of the IOC family, their accredited guests, dignitaries and VIPs.
“I want to make sure our guests feel welcome, are well informed and have a great time, feeling safe and secure throughout. I’d like them to leave with a glowing impressions of the region and the UK so they can tell the world what a great time they had.
I have watched virtually every day of every games since 1960 and this is my last chance to be part of an Olympic Games, other than as a passive TV viewer, and I could not let the opportunity pass me by.”
Jill Chadwick, from Stoke-on-Trent, is organising a Community Games.
Community Liaison co-ordinator Jill Chadwick and teaching colleagues at Haywood Engineering College, Stoke-on-Trent, are tapping into the talent code to make 2012 a memorable year for students and families. As part of the Haywood Community Games Festival on Saturday July 7, the college is holding a “Have You Got Talent” competition open to all local under-16 year olds.
“London 2012 is a special year for students, teachers and families alike. Our first festival was held in 2005 and it was the students’ own idea to make it an annual event. In 2009 we decided to celebrate the build up to the Olympics by having an Olympic theme running through each Festival with a view to making the 2012 Festival a very special day. During the last four years the young people involved have made Olympic themed carnival costumes, flags from around the world and a giant replica of the Olympic rings.
”A carnival parade will be colour- themed to match the Olympic rings. Prize awards are gold, silver and bronze, and we are even building our own Olympic-style medal podium. “Have You Got Talent” will feature singers, bands and dancers. The whole festival will be vibrant and colourful and has got everyone talking. There’s a real team spirit. With a new sports hall opening at the college in June, the next 100 days are going to fly by.”
Siobhan Dunn, from Oswestry in Shropshire, is volunteering at the Athletes Village in London.
Siobhán Dunn, age 44, is a PA at a world-leading aeronautical manufacturer in Oswestry. At London 2012, her Gamesmaker volunteering role is in the Transport Team at the Paralympic Games. She will be a Bus Member at the Athletes Village.
“I’ve volunteered for a number of years and raised funding for cancer charities. I was inspired to apply for the London 2012 Gamesmaker programme after hearing Sally Gunnell talking about it on the car radio in 2010. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of the Games.
“I’m proud to be helping the athletes in the Paralympic Village. They all have awe-inspiring stories to tell about the difficulties they have already overcome in order to compete in the Games. It’s a huge transport operation to get them from the village to where they’re competing – and I’ll be making sure they get on the right bus to get them to the right place at the right time.”
Siobhán will herself be in tip-top fitness for the Games. She is taking part in the marathon-length speed walk, known as the on ‘The Moonwalk’ 12th May in London to raise money for breast cancer. She is training for a finish time of under six hours.
Anna Brook, from Malvern in Worcestershire, is a Local Leader who is Lining the Streets to welcome the Olympic Torch.
There will be an early opportunity for the people of Great Malvern to celebrate London 2012 in the next 100 days – the Olympic Torch Relay travels through the town centre on May 25.
Gallery owner and Local Leader Anna Brook and her colleagues on the Gt Malvern Association of Traders Committee are working hard to make sure it will be a day to remember. They will be “Lining the Streets” with 1,000 golden balloons, handed out to local children lining the route.
“All parts of the community are working together to make this a day to remember. We are a tourist town and know how to put on a good show.”
Rita Vanes, from Dudley, will be carrying the Olympic Flame as she takes on her role as an Olympic Torchbearer.
Dudley Ladies’ Group Leader Rita Vanes has been selected to be an Olympic Torchbearer at the London 2012 Olympic Games. She was nominated for the honour by members of the club, which she founded in 2002 and will join with others to complete a section of the route between Birmingham and Coventry on Sunday July 1.
The 63-year-old special needs teacher at Halesowen’s Halesbury School said: “I’m really, really pleased as it will be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement and something I’ll always treasure.
The grandmother of three, from Wordsley, who didn’t take up running until she was 35, went on to become one of the best runners in her age group in the country and quickly grew to love the sport. She has taken part in hundreds of races for several clubs in the area before deciding to help other women interested in running and keeping fit by starting up her own club nine years ago.
Since then Rita has helped literally thousands of women take their first steps on the running ladder through the Beginners Running Courses that she organises every April.