As the content was nation-specific, we didn’t have a choice of dates for this module as we had had for previous, which meant traipsing across London on a Thursday afternoon, having to take an afternoon off work and resulting in a very, very long day. But who cares, we would finally be told what team we would be rooting for, so off I went with a spring in my step.
The one good thing about doing the journey mid-week was that public transport is much more reliable and dependable then. I got to the venue with very good time and was able to chat with a few Games Makers prior to the start of the event. We were all just as excited as each other about the session.
When we arrived we knew that the dates were based on Continent so after a few conversations I felt pretty certain that our group was the Americas, which was obviously good news to me. But everything else was still a mystery. On arrival we had all been handed a sealed envelope and we were asked to keep this closed until told to open it, which further added to the secrecy and intrigue.
The session finally started and of course the team then dragged things out as much as possible: first we had to open the sealed envelopes and I found mine had a number and a letter. The number represented a specific table which I had to move to, so we all did that. We were still none the wiser though, and even a quick chat with people in my own table led to little more information.
The team then told us, table by table, which people were assigned to which teams – a process that took far longer than was necessary, to be honest. I can appreciate their need to make this all seem very exciting, but after a few minutes it was fairly dull – until you got to your own table of course! Also, some of the delegations are quite small which means they only get a few Games Makers, which meant that some of the tables (like mine) had people assigned to different teams. The assignments were also done in the order of Olympics first, Paralympics next so I had to wait quite a while to hear who I’d been assigned to.
When the time finally came, I discovered that I had been assigned to the Mexican Paralympic Committee – exactly what I was hoping for. It was an exciting moment! When the cheering stopped (and everyone had heard about their assignment) we were asked to open some large envelopes on each table, which had details about the NOC/NPC we’d been assigned to and we had a chance to chat to Games Makers that would be in our team.
After that, we had a break for dinner (and it was nice dinner, something which I wasn’t expecting) and then moved on to the usual death-by-Powerpoint presentations. This time we covered areas such as Opening and Closing Ceremonies, more details on games-time Operations and a summary of all the most important material covered in previous modules.
As I am a Games Maker for the Paralympics I then had to attend a further session on the Paralympics itself – mainly covering some of the history and background but concentrating on how to deal with disabled people and some good practice. It was an interesting session but one I had to duck out of as I had a specific train to catch in order to get back home before Midnight. But a lot of the material is stuff I’ve covered before in my Disney University training.
This session was the last one that we would cover Role-specific training in Hackney so it was good to know that all that training has now been done. There was an awful lot of material covered in the five modules and while I feel that some of it could have been covered a bit more quickly – or even in a less boring way – overall the role-specific training has been good.
Next up: Driver training!