Volunteers want the Delhi Games to continue
The sea of red and white which over the past month had become a hallmark of the Commonwealth Games in the city may have slowly faded away after the closing ceremony signalling the culmination of the Games, but the group of young volunteers are finding it hard to let go.delhi Updated: Oct 17, 2010 13:10 IST
The sea of red and white which over the past month had become a hallmark of the Commonwealth Games in the city may have slowly faded away after the closing ceremony signalling the culmination of the Games, but the group of young volunteers are finding it hard to let go.
Dressed in their bright red trackpants and white windcheater uniforms, the young brigade found dotting the city assisting at stadiums and press tribunes across the Games venues here are bidding goodbye to the mega event, which was more than just a sporting event for them.
"The Games brought people from diverse backgrounds together and the amount of time we spent together during the last twenty days formed a strong bond of friendship between us, thus this very moment is very painful for me," says Neha, one of the volunteers.
Many like Neha joined the volunteer bandwagon for fun but seem to have taken away an experience they say will cherish forever.
"Initially I thought it was just a worthless job but the whole experience has been very rewarding... I can now tell my grand children that I was a volunteer at the 2010 Games," says another collegiate.
Their attachment to the whole set-up is such that many want the show to continue infinitely! "We simply didn't want the games to end, we wanted to keep working as long as we can," said Sarika, an army officer's wife who as a volunteer organised sight-seeing trips for foreign athletes.
The thrill of being in the vicinity of star-athletes has been one of the few attractions of the job that usually involved 8-10 hours of hard work per day.
"We got to interact with lots of people - athletes, officials, and the media. For me, the best moment was when I stood at an arm's distance from star boxer Vijender Singh. The other day I guided gold medallist Somdev Devvarman to his team bus," said Ankur Vasudeva, an engineering student who was attached to the British Virgin Islands contingent.
Vasudev, wearing a green team jersey of the Island nation said, "The chef-de Mission gifted this shirt to me."
The 22,000 strong volunteer workforce found a special mention in the speeches of CWG Federation chief Michael Fennell and OC Chairman Suresh Kalmadi at the closing ceremony.
Even the foreign athletes recognised their work and were all praise for their dedicated and unflinching service.