Thursday 4 August 2022

Volunteering at the Commonwealth Games 2022 Birmingham

I had a fantastic 2 days at the games and was fortunate to be asked to work inside the Commonwealth Village, where I got to hold a gold medal and meet so many athletes that I've been pointing at on the TV, saying 'I met hime, spoke to her and got their photo'

I was only notified 3 weeks ago that I had been awarded a role. Everything has been done online with no contact from anyone other than a generic email. I completed 3 hours of online training on all aspects of security selected my shifts from the portal. There was no venue trying available on dates I was available.

As I was asked late I only had 7 days that I was available to work, due to prior commitments and I selected 4 dates. I submitted my accreditation and my uniform was promptly delivered.

I arrived on site Day to collect my accreditation. No one said I had to or from where, and I was helped out by the police to reach the accreditation tent. It wasn't ready. Volunteers were unable to help and paid staff just said my role hadn't been assigned and that was that unless I could give them the name of my supervisor inside the Village. So 5 hours later I returned home. I emailed, I tweeted and received no response. Unwillinging to get up at 5am on Monday morning, I didn't go in, but Peter said I should make the effort on Tuesday.

Tuesday the police wouldn't let me in the inner cordon to reach the accreditation tent so I had to walk 5kms around the permitter to reach the tent and saw the same person who again said it wasn't ready and just shrugged. Now an hour late for my shift I told her I was leaving comments on the Facebook page about the situation and she suddenly assigned the role and printed my pass.

On entry to the village I was told to find a bloke called Lee, somewhere down there. Lee was located and when I asked him who was responsible for contacting volunteers and replying to their emails, he said he was, but he was too busy to do so. 

I was assigned as a 'Way Finder' and at 3pm I just went home.

Being a Way Finder meant I was to meet and greet athletes and personal as they walked from the accommodation block to the dining halls and ask if they needed anything. I was working with another volunteer who was extremely territorial and kept taking over my conversations, standing in front of me and actually putting her hand in front of my face to direct people. I just moved away and worked on my own. Eventually after she kept intercepting people I told her I wasn't interested in collecting PINS (badges) from the athletes and if I was given any, I'd pass them on to her. She left me alone after that.

Wednesday was a fun day. I informed Lee I didn't want to work with the volunteer again and explained why. He just laughed and said she was a bit like that, so I was given a scanner, introduced to another volunteer and spent the day outside the door of one of the restaurants to scan athletes and personal into the dining facilities. The day went too fast, it was such good fun, chatting to the athletes, asking them how their games were going, congratulating them and commiserating others.

I got to hold a Commonwealth Gold Medal and grabbed a few selfies with some of them. I'm glad I made the effort to go in for the 2 days as it was a great experience, despite the hassles actually getting in. It won't deter me from volunteering again either.

Mens 3v3 Basketball

James Hollis 100m Butterfly S10

James Guy 3 Silvers, 2 Bronze and a Gold.

Matty Lee

Olivia Breen 100m T38


  1. You'd think it would have been more organised. Shame it marred the experience, but glad you found it worthwhile in the end. I'm very jealous at you getting to chat to all those athletes. A great experience.

    1. I've been involved in much better volunteering roles