A Chemex franchise owner who volunteered at the London Olympics has advised those volunteering at the Paralympics to enjoy every minute of the games.
Eddie Ward, franchise owner of the North Notts Chemex franchise, recalls his time at the London 2012 games: “The whole experience was quite surreal and nothing can prepare you for the atmosphere, the euphoria of being a part of such an incredible global event. I just want to encourage all the new volunteers for the Paralympics to make the most of every moment – and there were moments of pure magic.”
While Ward enjoyed driving the VIPs from the Olympic family from their hotels in Park Lane to a variety of Olympic venues and airports, he also remembers the excitement of other volunteers sharing their stories at the end of their shifts.
He said: “There were 250 games makers at the camp site where I was staying at Eton Manor RFC and everyone had a story. I can still feel the rush from hearing one of the game makers talk about the excitement after Mo Farah had won the 5000 meters. He said that he ran up and hugged him – he was totally caught up in the moment.”
Other highlights included driving former US Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr Henry Kissinger as well as the US president of the International Olympic Committee and hearing the long burst of cheers and applause as Lord Coe paid tribute to the volunteers at the closing ceremony.
To volunteer, Ward took time away from his work providing consultancy, training and hygiene solutions to a wide range of businesses including nursing homes, hotels and restaurants.
He added: “My customers have been very supportive and are all interested in my new gold 2012 games maker tie pin – it is a talking point wherever I go! I would love to be a part of the Paralympics too – but I have a business to run and customers to look after.”
Michael Graham, Managing Director of Chemex, said: “This has been a great opportunity for Eddie – we were delighted to have supported him in his involvement at the games.
“He has tremendous business experience, is a keen sportsman and I’m sure he would have been a real asset to the games organisers.”
Published: 31 August 2012
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