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Commonwealth Reflections…

A Blog Post by Nigel Royle – UWS Careers Adviser

The events have been staged, medals awarded, and the celebrations are over but memories of the Glasgow commonwealth games this summer live on in the volunteers minds as we reflect on those eleven amazing days. The volunteers of Glasgow 2014 can proudly say that WE WERE THERE.

From the time the games were awarded to Glasgow, UWS staff and students took an active interest in supporting the games for example through the student led LEAD 2014 programme involving students and school pupils from all over Scotland, a two year staff secondment to the Games organising committee, and significant academic research around major sporting games.

From several UWS students’ perspective, their involvement in the pre-games volunteer programme was transformative. UWS students Royce Thomas and Taylor Sexton had similar games journeys both starting as “Frontrunner” volunteers leading up to the games meaning they were in prime position to gain full time paid roles when they came up. They both played key roles in the volunteer management during the games themselves.

Taylor describes how “Confidence was a big thing for me….. the support was incredible… My confidence has increased significantly and it shows when you put your mind to something and want to achieve you can!”

Similarly, Christine McKelvie, an HR student, was a volunteer interviewer and gained experience directly relevant to her studies and no doubt helpful to her future career plans.

The volunteer workforce roles varied from people working with the press, sports officials, results technology, team liaison, ceremonies cast and city hosts to name a few. The workforce represented a microcosm of the labour market where students as volunteers could develop a whole range of skills to enhance their employability.

As the games drew closer more students and staff were selected for their games time volunteer roles. Some, such as those selected for the Host Broadcaster training initiative gained skills directly relevant to their studies in television production and live sports broadcasting. Attending events and seeing some of these trainees sitting at mixing desks or directing boom mics you would have thought they were seasoned professionals. This experience will add weight to their future job applications. Others like Chris Gentles, a Business Technology student were selected as volunteer team leaders and were able to develop their leadership and organisation skills.

As a spectator services volunteers my role was known as the face of the games. Our friendly smiles and lively banter kept the crowds in buoyant mood as they queued on their way into Hampden Park or climbed the steep hill from the bus stops up towards Cathkin Braes Mountain bike park. Our training was focussed on customer service with an emphasis on equality and diversity. My motivation for this role was to welcome people to Glasgow and just to be part of an amazing event. Watching Alistair Brownlee romp home in the Triathlon and seeing Jo Pavey and Eilidh Child take their silver medals were stand out moments for me but so were many of the laughs and fun we had as a team. One of the rewards many people are still talking about is lasting friendships that formed during the games.

The eleven days went by in a whirl of activity. If I wasn’t on shift I was a ticketed spectator at an event or soaking up the atmosphere at Glasgow Green, George Square or at the BBC on Pacific Quay. Everyone I have met who played a part in making the games happen seems to have a similar story. Chris Gentles echoes the sentiments of many:

“I am able to look back on those two weeks of my life as two of the most enjoyable/challenging weeks ever!”

Volunteering has the potential to transform, providing skills and experience and bringing people together towards a common goal, and developing lasting friendships. The Commonwealth Games will not happen again in Glasgow in our lifetimes but the legacy will hopefully mean a generation of us are hooked on the experience of volunteering. In the words of one young spectator writing about the volunteers’ crucial part in the games

Through the volunteers…

“the games full spirit will live on
something a new city will be built upon”


Sessional Interviewer – School of Cultural & Creative Industries

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Sessional Interviewer – fixed term 1 month – £8.25 per hour

We are seeking to recruit a pool of researchers to assist the research team undertaking a study titled “Leveraging Parasport Events for Sustainable Community Participation” the Sessional Interviewer are required during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, from 27th July to 3rd August to undertake survey work focused on spectators attending Para-sport events during the Glasgow 2014 Games.

Ideally, applicants should have experience of working with members of the public in a research capacity. Awareness of the issues facing people with a disability in accessing opportunities to participate in sport would be desirable.

Informal enquiries to Professor Gayle McPherson on 0141 848 3233 or by email to

For an application form please email

Closing Date 23rd June 2014


Are You Involved in Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games?

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UWS has given its support to Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games through staff secondment, research activity and students/staff undertaking pre-games volunteer roles.

The University is keen to capture the full extent of individual involvement and celebrate the contribution of UWS staff and students to what is going to be a memorable event in Glasgow’s history. If you have been involved already or have been selected to play a part in Glasgow 2014 please complete this very short survey (six questions) created by the Careers & Employability Service to help us gather this information.

You can complete the survey anonymously if you do not wish to be identified.  The survey will close on 31st May


To Complete the survey please visit

BBC Learning at the Quay-Digital Learning Zone Event – Volunteer Call Out

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Volunteers needed to help out during the Commonwealth Games at :

Digital Learning Zone Event 26-30 July 2014

BBC Learning will be rolling up at BBC Pacific Quay in Glasgow for five days from Saturday 26th July to Wednesday 30th July.

Over the five days learning will deliver inspirational content for young people and families, focused around one of Learning’s key priorities – digital creativity.  The activities will draw on content created earlier in the year for the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.  There will also be additional material created in conjunction with BBC1’s Waterloo Road based around numeracy and health.

The idea is to offer interactive, fun taster sessions based on one of the Sherlock Holme’s games as well as partner introductory coding activities.

Looking for volunteers to help out on any of the above days.  You don’t need to be an expert in technology or online stuff as we will have people available to cover this, but are looking for people who are outgoing and confident talking to the public and families.

Volunteers need to be at least 18 years of age and if possible live within reasonable travelling distance from Glasgow. (reasonable travelling expenses will be reimbursed)

If you would like to volunteer please email Catherine Garvie – with your preferred day/s where you live and a contact telephone number.


Commonwealth Games – Open Ceremony Opportunities

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On July 23 the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will officially launch Glasgow and Scotland’s biggest-ever festival of sport and culture. At the heart of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be the 3000 people who will make up the cast which will be performing on these unforgettable occasions – and you could be one of them. It’ll be a once in a lifetime opportunity to get involved in one of Glasgow’s biggest ever parties.

We are very keen for colleges and universities sports groups, student associations and any individuals to take part in this exciting opportunity.

Brand new auditions will take place at the end of April, and we are particularly interested in male volunteers, and people under 45.  If you missed out on the first lot of auditions back in March, this is your last chance to get involved.  The group auditions are energetic, fun and all you need is bags of enthusiasm, and a bit of commitment to attend rehearsals.


Financial support to assist with costs is available on an application basis to successful cast members and will be targeted to assist participation in the ceremonies by those facing challenges meeting costs including independent living support, carer costs, childcare, travel to Glasgow and ensure that they can complete their experience. The funding will be independently administered by Volunteer Scotland and Voluntary Arts Scotland which has developed detailed application criteria. For further information please contact


You don’t need to have previous experience as we will teach you all you need to know..  Bring your personality, commitment and maybe even a friend along to one of our group auditions and start the experience of a lifetime.

Apply by 18 April here.

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