Torchbearers and Gamesmakers set the pace in Lyme Regis
The Olympic Torch Relay comes to Lyme on Thursday 12th July but for two Lyme Regis Olympic volunteers the excitement is yet to come.
While the two torchbearers — Clive Allison from Poole and Paddy Coker from Durweston (just outside Blandford Forum) —clearly do not come from Lyme Regis, this is not the case for Lyme Regis residents Susan Gale and Polly Benfield who are completing their training to be Gamesmakers in London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
So what are they expected to do? During the Olympics, Sue will be a Wayfinder in the Olympic Park answering a myriad of questions from visitors. The Olympic Park is vast so Sue will need to be well briefed on the day’s events, the venues and how to deal with lost children! It’s a long working day with either a 07.00—16.00 or 14.00—23.00 shift. Sue says: “What has sustained me is going from one stage to the next learning how the whole Olympics works from the inside." Sue believes the 2012 Olympics will leave a strong financial and social legacy for this part of East London.
Polly has always enjoyed watching the Olympics from childhood so she jumped at the chance to be a volunteer. With Thursday’s Olympic Torch Relay her excitement is growing. “I’m looking forward to representing Lyme Regis in London,” she says.
Polly is working for the Paralympics. She’ll be based at the ExCel Exhibition Centre in East London. ExCel is hosting a variety of Paralympic events including wheelchair fencing, table tennis and judo.
As a member of the Events Services Team, she will check tickets, settle visitors into seats and be available to help in emergencies. She’s received special training on how to use walkie talkies and how to deal with guerrilla marketing and streakers.
Volunteers pay their own expenses and find their own accommodation. During the Games in London they do receive an Oyster Card for travel and meals plus a uniform and an umbrella! Both Sue and Polly have had to travel to London for several training sessions. Sue said “The Orientation was excellent with hosts including comdian Eddie Izzard and champion long jumper Jonathon Edwards.”
This Thursday, if you are staying in Lyme Regis accommodation or a Lyme Regis B&B why not come along and share the excitement and then stay on for the Olympic Torch Day party in the Marine Parade shelters from 5 to 7 p.m. with music and a barbecue.
For the latest details of timings, route, parking and road closures go to the Lyme Regis Town Council website: www.lymeregistowncouncil.gov.uk.
Kevin Benfield, Words on Words
Published on 11/07/2012.