I’ve got my uniform, got my accreditation, I have completed my on-line training, and I am almost ready to go.

Now the fun starts to build. I begin to get notifications for role specific and then venue specific training via e-mail. Role specific training is confirmed for the 14th June in Locoq’s Canary Wharf HQ, ooooh, this sounded interesting 🙂 and venue specific training is scheduled for a couple of weeks later on the 30th June at the OLympic Park Stratford London!!!

Up until now, I have been relatively cool about it all, building it all up, not really knowing what I was going to do, but with the arrival of the Role and Venue specific training e-mails it was definitely becoming much more real. I am still convinced that I won’t see anything and that my time will be spent in a basement, watching an LED flash.

Would my convictions become true? What would the training tell me about my role?

The on-line training that I had already completed gave me some hints. In essence it looked like my role would involve fixing IT equipment, and resolving issues, but still no real mention of where. The only thing I could be confident of would be that I would at least see the outside of the Olympic stadium, which could be more than many other Gamesmakers.

The time came to start my training, and the first up was role specific training at the Locoq HQ in Canary Wharf. It was another beautiful day and the trip to Canary Wharf was nice and straightforward, apart from getting out of Canary Wharf tube station, huge it is and i got lost. Not a good sign, but I had left plenty of time so wasn’t too worried.

I managed to find the building in the end and followed the signs to register. There were other Gamesmakers there who had also already registered and we were starting to form a small crowd. Were these all IT Technician team members too?


They took us up to the 25th floor in groups of 10, (the maximum number the lift could take) and took us to the next part of our registration. This time we got tea and biscuits too as we waited for the rest to arrive and when there were enough of us, they ushered us into a large meeting room, with fantastic views. This room was set up for about 200 people, and we all took a seat. Now maybe I am still a kid, but for some reason I like to sit at the back, so I did! It was noticed and we were ushered forwards, so I let the others move, and I stayed where I was!

After a while more turned up, and we slowly started to fill the meeting room. All eager, all smiling faces, all IT Technician Team members in the Olympic Stadium?

I knew that there were about 5000 of us Gamesmakers who were to form part of the Technology team, but had no idea of the number of us in the IT Team within the Olympic Stadium, and still had no idea of what I would actually be doing.

The room was complete, no more Gamesmakers were turning up, it was 10am and we were ready to start. The training kicked off, and we found that there were a range of roles in the room, all varied and not all technology related, but most were. We listened intently eager to learn more, and we were given more, mainly about common things and some nice videos, but we were listening and learning.

We had a short break, where we were taken back to the registration room, to pick up some role specific documentation. About 15 roles were laid out on a table next to us, each of us would be given the relevant documentation when we got to the front of the line. As we walked past the table of documentation, I and another Gamesmaker looked frantically for ours, but there was none. Now I was starting to get a little worried. All the others had large piles of documents, but there was none for the IT Technician team member role.

So I waited in the queue until I got to the front, said my name and joked that there was no documentation. Oh no they replied, it’s here. And it was, a lot smaller pile, on their desk in front of them. No less documentation for me to take, but less Gamesmakers in the role, so a smaller pile.
I picked up my documentation, and read through it to see if i could find out what I was doing, still no real clues drat!

Back in the main meeting room, we were advised that some of the Gamesmakers would be going home soon, and others would stay, depending on their role and how much they needed to learn. The technical team would be going home last, as we had the most to learn. We soon finished the common pieces, and a large number of Gamesmakers left to go home, the scoreboard operators, and results gatherers. The rest were the technical teams, and there were about 40 of us remaining.

We learnt more, more about the systems and processes, but still not a huge amount about our individual roles. I learnt that many there were in different roles across the Olympics and not one was an IT Technician Team member in the Olympic Stadium, so i kept my mouth shut 😉

Many had questions, and unfortunately some were frustrating. There were people there who obviously were senior technical people, software engineers and technical consultants, many wanted to understand the details of the systems, whether they would be loading software on machines, or installing and moving LANs. Would they be troubleshooting system problems, responsible for security, managing air gaps, replacing hardware etc. I am sorry to say but I got frustrated. Come on guys we were volunteers? We would be told what to do, and when to do it and that our responsibilities would be managed by our supervisors and were unlikely to be that complex or technically challenging. I’m not sure, I think some others understood, but obviously many didn’t, subjecting the poor Gamesmakers who were leading the session to detailed technical questions that they couldn’t hope to answer at this stage.

Soon our first training day was over, I learnt a lot, but not much about my role. I learnt that I was definitely more eager, but also that I was hopeful that some of those who asked the questions would not be part of my team, as I knew that I would be happy doing what I was told. I was a Gamesmaker, a volunteer, not a system designer or developer, but a Gamesmaker and if that meant one day I would be watching an LED on a system and another day sweeping a floor then so be it.


It was a good day, next step – venue specific training!

Oh and when I left the building, I saw this, nice 🙂