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Friday, 13 May 2011

interview with the olympics. (well, Locog)...

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Today saw us do a 400 mile round trip to the Excel Centre in London to be interviewed for our suitability as massage therapists for the upcoming London Olympics in 2012.
We registered on the site last year, and hadn't really heard much at all in the past few months, and so didn't really think anything had come of it.

Since moving away from London, we have suddenly been back in contact with them, and were invited to an interview event in the Excel centre. 7 tube stops away from our previous flat, and quite a bit longer from our current place in Glossop. As there was only 1 day available for our interviews, we went online at the same time, and managed to get the same time slot requested- around midday today- Friday 13th May.

To cut rather a long story short, we got down there in plenty of time, and spent time outside in the sun, drinking coffee and thinking how absurd it seems that we lived not 5 miles from there, only 5 weeks ago.
After faffing around, chilling out and generally mooching- attempting to think up questions which may or may not be asked of us in the interview, it eventually became time for us to wander in, and after sitting in the reception area for a short amount of time, I happened to see Susan Findlay- Director of NLSSM- and head tutor of our Sports Massage course- walk through the door. We ran over to say our hellos and so forth, at which point she said that she was certainly not doing our interviews- she was only doing people she had not tutored. Not giving anything away about the interview, we agreed to meet up after it was all over.

The majority of people in the "intake" we were in were volunteering for transport/logistics, but the co-ordiantor for the medical team was on hand to take us through the details of how the team was potentially going to be organised throughout the olympics- where we may or may not be be needed, and a general overview of how the whole thing should (theoretically) work.

Within the olympic village apparently there is going to be a huge medical centre, in which there will be a large amount of sports doctors, osteos, chiros, massage therapists, dentists etc. all of whom will be volunteers. It all sounds rather exciting, but, as you can well imagine, its all a basic framework at this point, and bits are being filled in on a daily basis as it goes.

After a short introduction to what we (or rather the transport people) were volunteering themselves for, there was a short film about the olympics and why volunteering is so important- finished off with a 3 min talk from Eddie Izzard (on the screen, unfortunately, not in real life), and off we went to the interviews.

As Massage Therapists we were interviewed by other qualified massage therapists- who had volunteered to be interviewers. There were all the volunteer type questions you would expect to be asked, and also, because of our speciality- a couple of curve balls were thrown in to make the interviewers aware of the level of our experience. They were assessing us not only on our massage skills, knowledge of body mechanics and contraindications, but also on how we deal with people, athletes, and our past experiences of volunteering.

All in all, it was a very thorough interview, and I hope I can say we came through it with flying colours. But we have to wait until much later in the year to find that out. With 5000 staff to recruit on the medical team alone, the whole thing is taking a massive effort, and it is possible to see why things do seem to take quite a while to get into motion.

Hopefully, all things being well, we shall be working at the Olympics- and I should make it clear that the reason we are volunteering is not solely so that Lynne can massage Usain Bolts bum.

After the interview we caught up with Susan and had a good old natter about how things are going at the school, and had a quick chat about the marking we are doing on the Anatomy and Physiology papers- which this time a couple of years ago, we were doing! Lovely to catch up, even if for such a short time, and then it was back in the car up the M1.

It would have been better to take the train- but when the car is only half as expensive... what choice do we actually have?

As a final word- just as we got home, we got a call from Tom at Rockover climbing wall asking if we would like to help out at a climbing comp in the near future. I suspect we'll be over there for Rockovers birthday, doling out massages- potentially in return for donations to Mountain Rescue. We'll keep you updated as and when we know more of whats going on.
And tomorrow... Mount Famine. Short. Sharp. Looks like it may be a tad boggy. My first race in club colours...

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