The Join In blog: Tagged "Games Makers"

Helen Curtis, bottom row middle, is one of the London 2012 volunteers heading to Rio.
Helen Curtis, bottom row middle, is one of the London 2012 volunteers heading to Rio.

Join In’s Rio 2016 Legacy Volunteers

A few lucky volunteers from London 2012 are off to Brazil for Rio 2016. Here we kick off their adventures…

As a London 2012 legacy charity, Join In takes pride in the Games Makers and the impact they had on volunteering across the country. Many of our volunteers started their journey at London 2012, so with Rio 2016 just around the corner it’s no surprise that these dedicated volunteers are off to Brazil, to play their part and get closer to the action.

To celebrate these outstanding volunteers we’ve selected a group of Rio 2016 Legacy Volunteers. These incredible volunteers will be our eyes and ears in Rio, keeping you up to date with the latest from behind the scenes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. (more…)

Recent News

Jacky at the Paralympic Games

Volunteering showed that “I could do anything…”

Volunteering changed Jacky Kirwan’s life. It boosted both her confidence and sense of wellbeing. She shares her story. 

“I was lucky enough to be part of the London 2012 Olympics and managed the last few days of the Paralympics. It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget, as it changed my life.

I was stuck in a job that I was so unhappy in, but being part of something bigger than me brought my confidence back. It showed that I could do anything. From meeting the fans and other volunteers, it brought back a passion to help others – not for the praise, but to bring me back to me.

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Stephanie Slater will be swimming for Olympic gold in Rio 2016.

From Games Maker to gold medal hopeful

When Olympic hopeful Stephanie Slater lost the use of her arm, she thought she would never swim again; but her experience as a London 2012 Games Maker inspired her to get back in the pool.

Four years ago, Stephanie Slater was one of Team GB’s swimming hopefuls, a prospect for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the London 2012 Games.

But at the tender age of 20, Stephanie’s swimming career looked destined for a premature end when she suffered unexplained nerve damage during a training session and lost the use of her left arm.


A unique national network for sport

Over the last two years Join In has inspired thousands of volunteers in sport. At the core of these volunteers is a unique network of Join In Local Leaders – community volunteers who can be mobilised to help grassroots sport and activity grow.

The Local Leaders are our network of volunteers on the ground. The face of Join In within the local community, they work directly to engage and support new volunteers and connect them with local sports and fitness groups.

We continued recruiting these super-volunteers in 2014 with support from the Big Lottery Fund and we now have 250 across the UK, including 60 who have been introduced through our partner BT. (more…)

Could you meet your match volunteering?

Last year Ryan Postlethwaite logged onto the internet to look for matches. But he wasn’t looking for romance, he was looking for local volunteer opportunities. Six months on from Glasgow 2014, Ryan and girlfriend Charlie tell Join In how their experience as a Clyde-sider led to love.

Last year Ryan applied to be part of the 15,000 strong Commonwealth Games volunteer team. What he didn’t expect was that 330 miles away in Truro, his future girlfriend Charlie Tombs was also scrolling through the thousands of Join In opportunities and applying for the same role.


Eddie Izzard: Volunteering is good for everyone

Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard is Join In’s patron. In 2009, volunteers supported him in running 43 marathons in 51 days in aid of Sport Relief, and he became the official cheerleader of the Games Makers at London 2012.

Volunteers are the backbone of sport in the UK – without them, sport just wouldn’t be possible. Behind every sporting champion or grassroots sports club is an army of volunteers who have dedicated their time and efforts to sport.

Every Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports star started out at a local sports club or group. Any one of them will tell you how important volunteers are, and the vital role that they’ve played in their career.


Games Maker Guillermo: from London 2012 to Rio 2016

Guillermo Camargo Muradas, 33, from São Paulo, was a PA/chauffeur during London 2012. Here he recounts his Games Maker experience as part of Workforce Operations at Greenwich Park, a role he enjoyed so much he has applied to be a Join In and Rio 2016 Legacy Volunteer.

“I was responsible for checking in around 1,500 volunteers each morning, delivering meal vouchers to them and some days… rewards! I would take candies and start walking around the park giving them out to volunteers.

“Another function was taking pictures for the newsletter my team was responsible for. Even though most of my shifts started at 5am volunteers would already be smiling and giving everyone their best attention. Helping spectators, showing them where to go.

“I learned that you can work with people from many different cultures and backgrounds and, so long as you respect each other and always help each other, working together as a team will always deliver the best results.

Priceless experience

“I remember once, during the journey to my venue wearing my uniform, someone stopped and asked me questions about the Games and my job. After a quick chat, this person thanked me for my help and also for helping to make this amazing atmosphere. (more…)

Local Leader Helen Seamer: What volunteering means to me

Helen Seamer is one of Join In’s 250 volunteer Local Leaders, our people on the ground helping local sports clubs to connect with volunteers. She explains how she got into volunteering and what she gets out of it.

“I have always thought that there is a sport for absolutely everyone – it’s a question of trying them out to find the right one for you. I had this in mind when looking for something for my children to do. Two were early swimmers, so competitive swimming was an easy choice for the first.

My daughter was a bit different, having no inclination for speed swimming or ball sports. It happened that the swimming club in my little town in Kent, Hythe Aqua, had a synchronised swimming section. She gave it a try and was immediately hooked.

I used to watch in wonder at the amazing workout that is a synchro training session, and I quickly got roped in as a poolside helper. Level 1 coaching soon followed and I found myself getting deeper and deeper into the sport as a volunteer, becoming the county manager after a few years of learning the ropes.


Be a Rio 2016 Legacy Volunteer for London 2012!

Join In and Rio 2016 are working together to help London 2012 volunteers and Games Makers continue their volunteering journey from one Olympic and Paralympic Games to the next.

If you were among London 2012’s 70,000 volunteers and want to relive the experience at the Rio 2016 Games, you can apply for selection to be one of the Join In and Rio 2016 Legacy Volunteers.

** Applications are now closed. Good luck if you applied! **

What’s involved in being a Join In and Rio 2016 Legacy Volunteer?

As a Legacy Volunteer, you will be the face of the Olympic and Paralympic volunteering legacy at Rio 2016.

Join In will work with you to tell the story of your Games-time experiences to our audiences back in the UK – stories which will encourage yet more people to become involved in sports volunteering in their local communities. (more…)

On the eighth day of Christmas we salute: The Games Maker Choir

We count eight members of the choir below but of course there are many more people in the group that we’d like to acknowledge and honour.

The phrase ‘London 2012 Olympic Legacy’ is often debated and discussed but if you’re looking for an authentic, living, breathing (and of course singing) example of it  look no further than the awesome Games Maker Choir.



There was no way we could complete our ‘12 Days of Christmas’ series without including them and, judging the fantastic reception they receive wherever they perform, we’re not alone in our admiration.

As the name suggests the Games Maker Choir is comprised of over 200 Games makers who volunteered at the London 2012 Olympics. It’s the brainchild of choir director Victoria Verbi (pictured in the foreground above) and the commitment of its members are such that they travel from across the UK for rehearsals. (more…)