Lisa feels volunteering has improved her work/life balance
Lisa feels volunteering has improved her work/life balance

“Giving back had made me a better human being”

You probably haven’t given a second thought to how the athletes get from their accommodation to their venues during an Olympic or Paralympic Games. But one of our Legacy Volunteers, Lisa Blythman-Wood thinks of nothing else.

Following on from her time as a Games Maker at the Paralympic Games in London, Lisa is now volunteering in Rio. She has reprised her role with the Transport Team in the athlete’s village and is loving every minute of it.

“It has been another hot day in Rio with little or no breeze, if only this had remained the same for the whole day.

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You might think the opening ceremony began with American Aaron Wheelz Fotheringham, in a wheelchair, jumping from a massive ramp from the Maracana stands and performing a back flip through the final countdown zero (yes, he is the same guy in the Channel 4 ‘Yes I Can’ campaign, below) – but it started several hours before.

“I lost count of the high fives and hugs given, the joy and excitement was infectious.”

I lost count of the high fives and hugs given, the joy and excitement was infectious. I was so busy helping Georgia that I missed ParalympicsGB, but as you will have seen they got there on time.

Its been good to share my experience as a volunteer with guys from USA and Australia, who are surprised that I have had to arrange accommodation and flights to be here. There is an assumption that this is provided for volunteers, and many of them ask why are you doing this?

“I always find to hard to answer this, why does anyone take the time to give back? ”

I always find to hard to answer this, why does anyone take the time to give back? I guess people choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons.

For some it offers the chance to give something back to the community, or make a difference to the people around them. For others it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge.

I have always been a complete work alcoholic, I love my job and think nothing of working fifteen hours a day. But sports volunteering has got me to address my work/life balance, and make me a better person because of it.

My role at work has always grown because of volunteering as I’m now tackling the diversity issues in the creative industry and getting more young people into the arts and the digital industries.

“…supporting Paralympic athletes through to the Surrey Rams kids has shown me joy, sportsmanship, bravery…”

Giving back had made me a better human being. Following and supporting Paralympic athletes through to the Surrey Rams kids has shown me joy, sportsmanship, bravery, and hopefully more understanding of how these superhumans can go out and perform to a standard that deserves our appreciation.

Nothing is impossible and together we can all achieve anything.”

– Find a better you by lending a hand. Search our site for opportunities.

Read more from our Legacy Volunteers at Rio 2016.

 

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