"Wonderful experience" for headteacher as London 2012 GamesmakerBy Jonathan Low
August 24, 2012
A headteacher from Sandhurst described her experience as a Games Maker at the London 2012 Olympic Games as ‘wonderful’.
Julie Sheppard, 52, worked as a driver and ferried IOC officials and their families to and from venues including the Olympic Park, the ExCel and Horse Guards Parade during the Games.
She said: “I really enjoyed it. There was a great sense of camaraderie between the volunteers.
“I didn’t have any expectations before, so I didn’t know what to expect but I am really glad I was involved in it.”
Julie, headteacher at Oaklands Infant School, applied to be a volunteer at the Games in March 2011, and, following an interview was told last November she had been successful.
She said: “I was given the role of driver at the Games.
“We had three training sessions, driving around London with an instructor, and we were given specialist sat-nav systems for the Games.” Julie did 13 shifts in total, with each one lasting 10 hours, none of her passengers were household names.
However some of her colleagues did have some famous faces, including Lord Seb Coe, Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki in the backs of their cars.
Julie added: “We were based in Park Lane underground car park and were sent to staging areas to transport the IOC members and families.
“We usually had to drive them to the venues but other times we went to places like Canada Water where they had receptions.
“The Olympic Lanes were a godsend too – there was hardly any traffic.”
Julie will be back at school next week, so is unable to play a role in the upcoming Paralympic Games, which start on Wednesday, August 29.
However, she says she thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Olympics.
“It was a really wonderful experience.
“I think I am inspired to volunteer at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 now!”