Students lend a hand at the handball

Team GB are racking up the medals at record pace at London 2012 and it seems that the whole country has really taken the Olympics to heart.


Rickie Bailey (third from left in the back row) is one of the many volunteers helping out at the Olympics. Photo: Rickie Bailey
The event has appeared to run smoothly from top to bottom and much of this success is down to the work of volunteer staff, who have given up their time to work at the events.

Two University of Lincoln students, Janay Gibbons and Rickie Bailey, have had some hands on rolls in London, working with handball.

Bailey first heard about the opportunity last year. He said: “I was a reserve for the England senior squad ahead of the Tri-Nation’s tournament in 2010. I attended a pre-season tournament in Nottingham where the organiser introduced me to the 2012 handball manager.

“He asked me to do some training with him, so I could officiate the games I wasn’t playing in. We stayed in contact after and was invited to further training seminars over the years.”

He continued: “As part of the preparations, we were required to attend a number of statistics seminars and to attend international fixtures where possible. We were also invited to the ‘London Prepares’ series in November 2011, where we had experience of officiating handball at the highest level.”

Gibbons saw the advertisement for the position online. She said: “I’m an Anti-Doping Chaperone. I have to inform athletes that they have been randomly selected for drugs testing (performance enhancing drugs), then chaperone them to the doping control station.

“It’s has been very stressful; my role is highly scrutinised therefore everything has to be executed perfectly.”

She added: “All the stress so far has been worth it though as I’m having an amazing time.”

Gibbons is a member of the university’s handball team, which put her in good stead for working at the competition at the handball.

Bailey has also been involved with the university’s handball team since its inception and is keenly involved with the sport in the Lincoln community. The work though seems to have really paid off.

He said: “We found out we were getting opening ceremony tickets a few days before. That was by far one of the greatest experiences of my life so I can’t wait for the closing ceremony!”

Bailey has met many famous faces during his time in London. He said: “During the course of the event we have also had the pleasure of meeting many of the athletes including Mikkel Hansen and Karabatic, who are two of the best players in the world.

He continued: “We’ve also met David Cameron, Kate Middleton and the Queen of Denmark. It’s been mental!”

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