Suffolk: Army of volunteers countdown to their Olympic dream

AN ARMY of volunteers are setting off from Suffolk this week with the Olympic Park in their sights.

People from all four corners of the county will help out during the sporting spectacular, as the eyes of the world focus on the capital.

From drivers and medics, and from chaperones and ticket operators, hundreds from Suffolk will be among the 70,000 volunteers giving up their time to be part of history.

More than 240,000 people applied for a voluntary role, and organisers interviewed 100,000 hopefuls, all keen get involved.

In addition to our Games Makers, Suffolk is also set to have a big impact on the events themselves.

Mike Oakley, Paul Rutter and Liz Henderson – who are all members of the Ipswich Harriers running club – are assisting with judging field events at both the Olympics and Paralympics.

Club member Joe Mower is assisting with the endurance events such as the marathon, while Tony Cheatham will take the athletes on to the track. Joy Hoare will also be officiating field events in the Paralympics.

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Lord Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, said: “Our Games Makers will contribute a total of around eight million volunteer hours during the Games and so they simply wouldn’t happen without them.

“We’re thrilled to have volunteers from the Suffolk area helping us stage the world’s greatest sporting event and I’d like to thank them for their support.”

Students from Heath Primary School in Ipswich have been selected to take part in the guard of honour at the Games.

Athletes will walk past them into the Olympic Stadium where the multi-million-pound opening ceremony will take place.

They will join 2,000 schoolchildren who will be holding lanterns and waving banners to support each of the 204 competing teams.

The students will set off for London Liverpool Street early on Friday morning.

The Guard of Honour schools were selected through the London 2012 education programme, Get Set. The schools were chosen after demonstrating a commitment to the Olympic and Paralympic Values and incorporating them into their curriculum.

What part of the Olympics are you most looking forward to?

For more Olympic news and travel, see our London Calling section above.

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