THE VOL­UN­TEERS

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - COMMONWEALTH GAMES - PAUL WE­STON

THEY came from ev­ery­where. More than 15,000 of them.

Re­tired teacher Deb­bie Gib­son packed up the camper­van and left Perth for what will be her swan song Games at the Gold Coast.

“This is my sixth Com­mon­wealth Games,” Ms Gib­son said, be­fore re­flect­ing back on Canada in 1994, fol­lowed by Kuala Lumpur, Manch­ester, Mel­bourne and Glas­gow.

“I have also vol­un­teered at three Olympics – Syd­ney 2000, Van­cou­ver 2010 and Lon­don 2012.

“So from these amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ences I can con­firm that the ’vol­lies’ do an in­cred­i­ble be­hindthe-scenes job and front of house and field of play role with such en­thu­si­asm, com­mit­ment and joy.

“In re­turn, we, the vol­un­teers, have ter­rific ex­pe­ri­ences and mem­o­ries which last a life­time.

“In over 30 years of vol­un­teer­ing at World Swim­ming Cham­pi­onships, World Hockey Cham­pi­onships and with Tall Ships I can as­sure you that I am a bet­ter per­son for hav­ing vol­un­teered.

“This is not about money, it’s about the peo­ple you will meet, friend­ships de­vel­oped and the sport­ing con­tests where you have a front-row seat.”

Ms Gib­son urges Aus­tralians to write down “vol­un­teer” on their bucket list.

And how did the Coast rate? “It’s top notch. You get the neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity about trans­port. Ev­ery Games has trans­port is­sues. I went to the hockey last night and was back home in 25 min­utes,” she replied.

“When the Gold Coast and Queens­land is men­tioned (as host­ing the Games), you put it on your num­ber one list.”

Pic­ture: ALEX COPPEL

Dou­glas Mur­phy, QC, is vol­un­teer­ing at the Main Press Cen­tre in Broad­beach.

West Aus­tralian Deb­bie Gib­son is vol­un­teer­ing at the ath­letes vil­lage at her sixth Com­mon­wealth Games.

Pic­ture: GETTY IM­AGES

Vol­un­teer pho­tog­ra­pher Erin Au­mann and Eng­land bas­ket­baller Melita Emanuel-Carr com­pare painted nails.

Pic­ture: AAP IM­AGE

Games vol­un­teers are al­ways good for a high five.

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