Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HL NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Olympic pride for Halesowen Scout leaders
2:18pm Wednesday 15th August 2012 in Local
TWO Halesowen Scout leaders enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience as part of the 90,000-strong army of London 2012 volunteers.
Adrian Jones was assigned to the media team at the ExCel Centre - scene of indoor games including boxing, fencing, judo and table tennis, while Ian Payne became a chauffeur, driving officials, guests and athletes to and from venues.
Highlights for father-of-two Mr Jones, of Quarry Lane, included seeing Nicola Adams win the first women’s boxing gold medal and Luke Campbell gaining another gold for Team GB in the sport.
The 57-year-old rubbed shoulders with famous names including David Cameron, Lennox Lewis, Princess Anne and President Putin.
“The atmosphere in London was unbelievable, even on the tube people were talking to me because I had my uniform on so they knew I was a volunteer.
“The most wonderful moment was when a German, sat next to me, said how the German press was saying it was the best organised Games. Then a Brazilian said how the volunteers were wonderful and soon the whole carriage was talking,” said the Birmingham Council regeneration project designer.
He added: “The organisation was just right and the volunteers were allowed a bit of a free rein, which made it personal and allowed people’s characters to come out. It was very human, very British, a bit wacky, but very genuine.”
While Mr Jones was providing seating, interview areas and information for the world’s media, Mr Payne, a company director, was driving people from Canadian Government officials to the parents of a Guatemalan sailor and GB’s women’s footballers.
“It was very enjoyable - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved in the Olympic Games and the success it was,” he said.
The 45-year-old, of Glynn Crescent, who camped with other volunteers for 10 days and finished his stay in student accommodation, found London much quieter to drive round than normal, as people stayed away fearing the Games would cause congestion.
Back home, the Halesowen district Scouts have been completing their own Olympic Challenge with events such as archery, climbing, orienteering and volleyball, along with a chess competition, cooking challenge and creative events to reflect the cultural activities of the original Greek Games, The latest event was a camping competition and a canoe regatta is planned for next month, with an awards ceremony set for later this year.