I was delighted to hear the news confirming the Gold Coast would be hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games and I remember at the time thinking how great it would be if I could somehow be a part of it.
When I came across the opportunity to become a volunteer, I jumped at the chance. After all, when you’re a part of the financial industry, it’s in our very nature to be helpful.
About the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games was the largest sporting event hosted in Australia this decade. More than 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories were hosted by sunny Queensland to participate in the Games.
Joined by 15,000 volunteers, 1.5 million ticketed spectators and 3,000 international media broadcasting to a global audience of 1.5 billion. What a fantastic opportunity to be involved.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games ‘Games Shapers’
They named the volunteers as the ‘games shapers’ because of the vision we shared as being able to help and shape the games experience for all athletes and those attending. What a similar connection this is to our Quill Group motto ‘shaping your future’.
My Role at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
My specific role was a ‘Timing and Scoring’ team member and I was assigned to the Table Tennis event in the Oxenford studio. I was responsible for counting the rallies as well as then scoring the game. The results and statistics of these games were the basis for all information that would be provided to websites, mobile apps as well as useful insights for the athletes, coaches and even the TV commentators.
Before the Commonwealth Games, I had never experienced viewing, let alone playing competition table tennis. With the opportunity to be right next to the live action, I now have a new found appreciation for the game! I was even lucky enough to enjoy a rally with one of the leading Australian table tennis stars, Heming Hu.
My Experience at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
By far and away, the most memorable moment I witnessed was within the para competition. The Australian athlete, Melissa Tapper1, although with much more experience and skill than her competitor from Papua New Guinea, seemingly refused to play her ‘A game’. Instead, she allowed for her opponent to stay in the rally for as long as possible. For every point. In the end Melissa Tapper won the game but her opponent was all smiles the whole way along, and they even exchanged hugs and shared photos with each other afterwards.
- It’s interesting to note that Melissa Tapper is the first ever Australian athlete to compete in both able-bodied and para events at the Commonwealth Games.
The whole volunteering experience was enjoyable and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The volunteers were driven by energy, enthusiasm and passion. It was an amazing experience that I won’t be forgetting about in a hurry!