Olympic 2012 updates: Volunteering, torch bearers, progress and choirs

Volunteers with Integer trainer Jon Barclay, Sarah Kennedy of the Weymouth and Portland Operations Team and Craig Womble of Volunteer Centre Dorset

Volunteers with Integer trainer Jon Barclay, Sarah Kennedy of the Weymouth and Portland Operations Team and Craig Womble of Volunteer Centre Dorset

First published in Sport

Volunteering

IT IS not too late to get involved in volunteering for the 2012 Sailing events in the borough.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games may have closed applications for its official London 2012 Games Maker volunteer scheme, but tomorrow the Dorset 2012 Operations Group will be launching a county-specific volunteering programme.

The Weymouth and Portland Ambassador (WPA) programme is the only officially-recognised volunteer scheme outside of the London 2012 Games Maker and the London Ambassador programme.

Up to 800 volunteers will be required for the WPA Programme with recruitment starting tomorrow.

All volunteers will be trained; wear officially branded uniforms and they will be recognised for their valuable 60 hours of commitment between July 26 and September 9, 2012.

The WPA Programme vision is to provide a warm, friendly welcome to the world from Weymouth and Portland during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and successful volunteers will act as friendly and efficient hosts to visitors, offering assistance and communicating useful, accurate, appropriate information in an engaging way.

See tomorrow’s Dorset Echo to find out how to get involved.

Torch bearers

DON’T forget to nominate inspirational local people to be Olympic torch bearers before the deadline of June 29.

The search is on to find 8,000 torch bearers nationwide and local residents could be chosen to have their moment to shine as the torch makes its way around the country in advance of the opening ceremony.

Purbeck Sport Centre, based in Wareham, is actively encouraging people to nominate friends and family.

Anyone from the age of 12 upwards can be nominated to carry the Olympic torch, which will be carried through the district in 300m relays.

To nominate a torch bearer just share a few details about their personal achievement or contribution to the community on the London 2012 website.

Terry Peterson, sports centre manager, encouraged people to ‘celebrate the remarkable stories of people in the district’.

Nominations can be made online at london2012.com/olympictorchrelay or by telephoning 0800 111 6448.

Leaflets can also be picked up from the sports centre reception at Worgret Road, Wareham.

Progress

PREPARATIONS for the borough hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games sailing events are ‘progressing well’, according to council bosses.

The new £89million relief road is now open and operating and investment in environmental enhancement and other works are well underway on Weymouth seafront, where with grant aid from English Heritage and the Arts Council as well as funding from both Dorset County and Weymouth and Portland Councils, improvements have been made to many listed buildings and structures, new lighting has been and is being installed, sitting out areas have been created and other projects planned and underway.

This is coupled with the development at Osprey Quay, where the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy has just hosted another successful Sail for Gold regatta, and complemented by the adjacent 600 berth marina, which were all completed years in advance of hosting of the Games.

There are plans for ensuring that the Olympic sailing events a truly a spectator sport by having a large screen to show the races on Weymouth Beach and also one at the proposed Nothe ticketed site.

Simon Williams, head of the borough’s 2012 operation team, has compiled a list of Dorset’s legacy benefits which can be viewed online at dorsetforyou.com/399941

Olympic choir

THREE Dorset youngsters have earned the chance to become part of the official London Olympic 2012 choir.

Coral Norton, 16, and Dan White, 18, of Christchurch and Sam Gibbons, 18, of New Milton have successfully made it through to the Official Youth Choir of the 2012 Olympic Games.

The trio, who are part of the east Dorset-based award-winning The Funky Little Choir Company are set to join the 120-piece 2012 choir after making it through a tough audition process which saw them see off more than 2,000 singing hopefuls.

Choir director of The Funky Little Choir Sandie Elkins said: “Coral, Dan and Sam will be joining another 117 from up and down the country after fierce competition over the last three months, “We’re all very proud.”

Follow their progress over the next 12 months at funkychoir.co.uk

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