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Sporty Spice: Olympic gamesmaker news hot off the press

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My journey to becoming a Games Maker began almost two years ago! At the time it seemed a far fetched dream and now I am only weeks away from the reality.. 

 

Since receiving my confirmation email in October 2011 the preparation process has just flown by.. It officially began at the beginning of February at Wembley Arena. Queuing up outside for what seemed an eternity due to extreme weather conditions prior to a snow fall, orientation training began in an arena filled with thousands of Games Makers all there to perform differing roles. Our calling, to create a lasting legacy for London and to inspire a generation to choose sport, through providing a warm welcome to our guests from the sporting world. The session consisted of information pertaining to our role i.e. desirable attributes and attitudes, health and safety, what to expect whilst working as a Games Maker etc. We were all given training packs to take away and complete and the thing that stood out the most was the expectation for us to learn the sign language alphabet. 

 

A little over a month later I headed to London Fields for my role specific training. We started off with a medical services overview and an introduction of how our skills and expertise would contribute to the medical team. Throughout the Olympics and Paralympics  LOCOG will provide free of charge care to athletes, their team officials, technical officials, International Olympic and Paralympic family, the press and the workforce. 

At this point my new found sign language skills were really put to the test, as we all had to introduce ourselves to our colleagues with the use of sign language. Having memorised the complete alphabet prior to the event I thought it would be a piece of cake! Well memorising the letters is the easy part communicating is a whole different ball game. Let's just say the professionals make it look easy! As they say practice makes perfect and I’ve a lot of practising to get done before July.

 

Following this the pharmacy team members present broke off into a smaller focus groups. This was a good opportunity to get acquainted with fellow pharmacists and refreshing to see that individuals from varying fields within the profession have been brought together. Needless to say everyone can provide useful and valuable skills from their own experiences. The session was led by Mark Stuart (Clinical Lead) and David Mottram, both well renowned experts within the field of sports pharmacy. 

As a pharmacy team member my role will involve provision of medicines, ensuring that drugs used by athletes comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and IOC guidelines, providing a minor ailments service for non-athletes, and welcoming the medical teams from across the world, ensuring they have declared the medicines they are carrying, checking doctor's GMC registrations and providing them with prescription pads they can use to obtain drugs listed in the Games Formulary. 

Pharmacies will be located in the three Olympic Villages, starting with the Athlete Village in Stratford, the Sailing Village in Weymouth and the Rowing and Canoe Sprint Village in Egham. A little over 100 pharmacists have been selected and have been divided over the three sites, working shifts between 7am and 11pm daily. 

In order for each pharmacist to perform their role we have all had to complete three comprehensive CPPE training packs and pass an online assessment to demonstrate our competence and dedication to the role. The training packs took approximately 5 to 6 hours to complete. They consisted of information about the history of the Olympics, Doping and Anti-doping within sport. Through this I learnt about the Prohibited List of substances and methods banned by WADA, and what exceptions can be made should any athlete need to take one of the substances on the list.

I was also able to gain more knowledge about sports injuries and methods used to treat them which will enable me to advise athletes with more confidence. The training on a whole, I believe, will be very useful for not only my role this summer but also in my everyday practice. I have found it very interesting and I hope to develop a special interest within this field after the games, and I also endeavour to find out what career opportunities are out there. 

A few weeks ago in May I went across to London Docklands to collect my Games Maker uniform. It has been designed well and is fit for its purpose, however even though its made by Adidas and is of a high quality I have had varied responses from people that have seen it, some find it trendy whilst others mock that I look like a member of the food care industry ready to dish out “extra fries”!! Whatever the case may be I will cherish it as being the outfit in which I perform my “once in a lifetime role” as a Games Maker.

 

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