Hol­i­day fun as a games vol­un­teer

Aldershot News & Mail - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

ALEX Bliss, from Ash Vale, has never been re­luc­tant to give up her time to help oth­ers en­joy sport, reg­u­larly vol­un­teer­ing her evenings and week­ends to get peo­ple in­volved in lo­cal clubs.

This month, how­ever, she has gone a step fur­ther and de­voted her summer hol­i­day to help­ing out at the Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow.

The 38-year-old sent in her ap­pli­ca­tion to be a Cly­desider, as the vol­un­teers are af­fec­tion­ately known, last Jan­uary and now she is in the thick of the ac­tion at the qua­dren­nial event.

Ms Bliss is act­ing as an ad­viser to pho­tog­ra­phers at the Scot­tish Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence Cen­tre in Glas­gow, where the net­ball is tak­ing place.

“Lots of pho­tog­ra­phers turn up to the court hav­ing never seen a game of net­ball in their lives,” she said this week.

“I give them the help they need to do their work – I ex­plain the rules to them, point out the best po­si­tions to take pho­tos from and talk them through the pro­gramme of matches.

“The at­mos­phere in the arena is ab­so­lutely great,” she con­tin­ued. “Dur­ing the breaks there are al­ways ac­tiv­i­ties in the crowd, like kiss cam­era; it’s ac­tu­ally re­ally fun to watch.

“Lots of peo­ple have said how sur­prised they are by how fun they have found net­ball and what a great game it is to watch.

“The shifts tend to be about six hours long, but they look af­ter us re­ally well,” she added.

Ms Bliss, who works for an IT firm in Brack­nell, is a Join In Lo­cal Leader for Sur­rey, where she acts as an ad­vo­cate for vol­un­teer­ing in the com­mu­nity and en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to try out sports.

Two years ago she was a Games Maker at the Lon­don Olympics, so knows her way around large sport­ing events.

“I have al­ways re­ally like sport,” she said.

“But you be­gin to know the lim­i­ta­tions of how good you’re go­ing to be quite early on.

“Be­ing part of these games is some­thing no one can ever take away from you. This is my hol­i­day for the year.

“I’ve been lucky to see some great sport,” she said. “The ex­pe­ri­ence has been won­der­ful and I would re­ally en­cour­age other peo­ple to do it.”

Alex Bliss vol­un­teer­ing at the 2014 Com­mon­wealth Games in Glas­gow, pos­ing next to This­tle, one of 25 of­fi­cial mas­cots of the games.

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