Before long I had another training session, this time in a different venue but still in Hackney. To attend this one I had to get on a train, a tube and then another train! Fortunately the walk after the station was not a long one and for once I made it to a training session just in time.
This Module 3 was all about the Athletes' Village: what is in it, what is around it, and basically everything we needed to know about the venue to help us in our role. We started with a fun icebreaker in which we all shared a greeting in another language that we could speak and fairly soon it was obvious that there were a huge number of languages spoken in the room!
The actual training session then started and it was all very interesting: we saw maps, photographs, layouts and learned lots of useful and interesting facts about the Athletes’ Village. I knew this was a large operation but just thinking about the amount of meals served – and not just regular meals but with particular consideration to strict fitness nutrition, cultural preference, religious backgrounds, etc – is enough to boggle the mind.
At this session we also had a challenge, which is a well-used team build challenge: to make a tower out of dried spaghetti, using only basic materials and sturdy enough to hold a marshmallow at the top. The highest tower wins. This was mainly used for the team to study the ways we work together and enable them to be able to make decisions. However, I was a bit confused by this as I thought that the way the teams would be placed together was mainly about language and culture so I’m not sure what further insight this gave them.
Finally we learned about what it would be like to be an athlete at the village for one day. I was very disappointed by this, because it could have been brought to life so well in so many ways, but instead we were presented with a wishy-washy video. Coincidentally, a few days later my Runners’ World magazine turned up and in Jo Pavey’s column she discussed exactly this: what is it like to be an athlete during an Olympiad and living in the Athletes’ Village. It was very well written and I wish I could link to it online somewhere so that every gamesmaker reads it!
Ultimately Module 3 was very interesting and full of great inside information and I felt like I learned a great deal. It had a couple of exercises and challenges which were fun but did get a bit tedious at the end. Disappointingly though, we didn’t get any chocolates this time but we did get a renewed feeling of excitement for the task looming in only a few months…