Games Volunteers Pick Up Uniforms

Volunteers at this summer's Commonwealth Games have started collecting their "clydesider'' uniforms, which are kitted out for whatever the Scottish weather may bring.

The team of 15,000 helpers will wear red polo shirts and grey trousers when they take up their role at Scotland's biggest-ever sporting event and, with the weather in mind, they will also be equipped with a cagoule, hat and umbrella.

The first of the volunteers have picked up their outfits from Glasgow's Kelvin Hall, which has been turned into the Glasgow 2014 uniform and accreditation centre and will be a hub for the Games workforce.

About 50,000 people will pass through the centre before the Games, with volunteers, staff and contractors all using the site. About 100 volunteers have already started work by staffing Kelvin Hall handing out accreditation and uniforms.

Retired nurse Sheila Henderson was one of the first volunteers to collect her uniform and was delighted to put it on.

She said: "I really like it, it's nice and bright, comfortable to wear and I'm very proud to wear it actually.

"It covers all eventualities with a cagoule and umbrella just in case it rains.''

The 61-year-old has been involved in the volunteering process for around two years as part of the "frontrunner'' programme that included interviewing other potential volunteers.

During the Games she will be part of the protocol team at the Games' family hotel, seeing to the needs of representatives from different countries taking part in Glasgow 2014.

"I had retired after 40-odd years as a nurse and wanted to volunteer because this is such an exciting thing for Glasgow,'' she said.

"There's already a community feel within the volunteers. I was part of the frontrunner programme and among us there is a family feel and we've been doing other volunteering as a group, and there have been occasions where we have had to support one another when things crop up, so it's great to be involved.''

A newly formed "clydesider chorus'' has been formed by some volunteers and they sang for volunteers as they arrived at Kelvin Hall to collect their uniforms and passes.

Charlie Coogans, 60, was among those picking up his uniform today.

"It feels great, I feel like I'm part of the system now and a clydesider,'' he said.

"I don't know if we're able to wear it before the Games but I'll certainly be taking good care of it.

"It's an exciting time because it's all going to come thick and fast now towards the event.''

Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg gave volunteers a tour of the accreditation centre and said today was another milestone on the road to the opening ceremony.

While volunteers were collecting their uniforms, business leaders were meeting to discuss plans to establish a legacy from the Games.

Hosted by Aggreko, who are one of the sponsors of the Games, it was designed to "share opportunities'' for businesses as a result of Glasgow hosting the Games.

Angus Cockburn, interim chief executive of Aggreko, said: "We are deeply proud of our roots as a Scottish business with a truly global presence.

"We now operate in more than 100 countries but Glasgow remains the centre of that business.

"Glasgow 2014 will celebrate all that is Scotland, Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games, and we are determined that it brings Scottish businesses and communities together.''

"The Games are made by people and so to see the team come together with volunteers, staff and contractors collecting their uniforms and accreditation is great,'' he said.

"We're looking at almost 50,000 people coming through this gateway, so it's important that it works like clockwork.''

Mr Grevemberg will swap his suit for one of the uniforms during the Games.

He said: "I'm part of the workforce so I'll be wearing it during the Games.

"In Glasgow you can have all four seasons in a day, so it's important that we had a versatile and comfortable uniform as well as having style.

"I like to judge it by thinking 'would I wear it again after the event?', and I think most people will.''