SELKIRK’S Jillian Malkin jetted down to London yesterday afternoon to spend the next two weeks working as a volunteer at sport’s greatest show on Earth, writes Mark Entwistle.
For Jillian is one of the 70,000-strong team which will be helping the London 2012 Olympic Games run smoothly.
The pensions administrator from Kingsland Avenue was selected from more than 250,000 applicants last year and since then has been to London for four training sessions for her role in what is termed “events services”.
“I’m really looking forward to it – it’s going to be an incredible experience,” Jillian told us just a few hours prior to boarding her plane for the English capital.
She went on: “I’m going to be based in the Olympic Park for all of the 17 days at the Games, and my duties will include things like meeting and greeting people coming into the park and giving people directions.
“Unfortunately I won’t be stationed inside the stadium, but I have seen round the venues in the park already and I will be at the opening ceremony.
“The park is absolutely awesome.”
Jillian, who is employed by the Scottish Government’s pensions agency at Tweedbank, will be working long days, comprising 9-10 hour shifts, with only two days off.
She has volunteered before, helping marshal and time-keep at the annual Borders Sport and Leisure Trust’s Selkirk triathlon.
She saved up holiday time to be able to participate as an Olympic volunteer and has already applied to help as a volunteer at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Of her two days off, Jillian says one will be spent in the Olympic Park as she has a pass for the viewing platform which towers above the stadium, while on the second break day she has a ticket for the semi-finals of the women’s hockey tournament.
“I can’t wait. It’s going to be hard work, but an incredible experience,” she added.