An experience of a lifetime: Volunteering at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships

This summer, GL events UK worked with the Glasgow 2018 European Championships as part of an agreement that saw the company deliver infrastructure across the host city of Glasgow. The Championships was a new concept event that combined athletics and golf, and was spread across two cities; with the focus on Glasgow. It was a massive success, not least because of the warm welcome delivered by the people of Glasgow.

Two of those people were Josselyn Tarazona and Tim Carlsen, two students of Queen Margaret University currently embarking on a degree in events. Through GL events UK’s partnership with both the University, and the European Championships, Josselyn and Tim were able to experience the back stage of a real-life event as part of the games’ volunteer programme. We asked them to share their experiences.

Tim’s experience

I volunteered for Glasgow 2018 and was based in Championship House, usually known as Glasgow City Chambers which overlooks George Square. George Square (right) was beautifully set up with the main stage facing the square and the various artistic structures around. One structure that was extremely visible and spiked everyone’s curiosity, was the huge box studio on the furthest side of the square facing the stage.

It was the main studio where the BBC was conducting their interviews with George Square in the backdrop. This merchandise shop and other surrounding structures was built by GL events Field & Lawn, the proud overlay supporter of the championship games.

During Glasgow 2018 I was a part of the fantastic Guest Hospitality Management team. Some of our tasks involved looking after the various dignitaries and VIP guests who made use of our Family Lounge. Although our station was not the busiest, we had a team that was always ready to solve issues that may occur. We also had a fantastic managerial team who looked after us and made sure that operations ran smoothly.

In the period of 12 days I met and worked with some amazing people. Through GL events UK, I was able to experience some iconic venues the games were operating in during the backstage tours at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the SSE Hydro. It was fascinating to understand how complex cycling is operated and works as a sport, but as an events student, the Hydro left me in awe. It was truly interesting to see how the venue worked ‘behind the scenes’. It’s an experience I loved, and will do again in the future.

Josselyn’s experience

This summer Glasgow was taken over by the European Championships 2018. Over the course of 10 days of competition, Great Britain took home 74 medals in total; leaving us at 2nd place.

Having an opportunity like this, to participate in this international event was incredibly fulfilling. I met people from all different backgrounds and ages, building close relationships that felt like we were merging ourselves into a little family, all sharing the same purpose. Since we all had the same outlook on volunteering, we wanted to help create the best games we possibly can and enjoy every single minute of the experience.

I was very lucky to be placed as part of the festival and cultural team but I also volunteered at the road cycling venue within Glasgow Green. The staff and everyone there were very helpful and always available if you needed any help finding venues or arranging shifts. I think this made it easier for volunteers who have not done this before.

It was also great to work with GL events UK, that is an official supporter of Glasgow 2018. The team asked me to contribute to social media content throughout the games; posting activities around the event and recording the experience of a volunteer. This experience really enriched my experience as a volunteer and helped me understand the different people and businesses that partner together to create an event like this.

I had a positive and fulfilling experience volunteering for Glasgow 2018 and I am so looking forwards to signing up for any upcoming events. This is one I’ll certainly remember.