Reliving the London 2012 Olympics at Go Local
Written by Clay on July 24, 2013
On Friday 19th July I was lucky enough to tag along as my brother’s plus-one to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to see the Go Local concert. Not only was the event held to celebrate what was achieved last year, it was also to harness the inspiration of the Olympic volunteers and make sure the volunteering legacy is a real one.
Seb Coe, the Olympic Legacy Ambassador, came on the stage at the start of the afternoon, getting everyone there to promise they would ‘go local’ and start volunteering. Throughout the event we kept being told the importance of volunteering, in particular with sports clubs. JoinInUK, a volunteering organisation, have calculated that it takes on average 40,000 volunteers to make a sports champion, so no matter what you can do, they need you to get involved and lend a hand.
The afternoon’s entertainment kicked off with a performance by the stars of the Olympic opening ceremony – the Pandemonium Drummers. I spoke to a woman on the train home who was a dancer in the opening ceremony and she said the drummers made her feel as if she was back at the Olympics again. It was a special moment of nostalgia for everyone watching and it started the concert with a bang.
Also performing were contestants from Britain’s Got Talent: the incredibly talented gymnastic troupe Spelbound; 15 year old comedian Jack Carroll making jokes about the Olympics; and 14 year old singer/song writer Gabz performing her song Lighters (The One). It was great to see so many people supporting the cause of the volunteering legacy.
One of my favourite acts of the afternoon was West End greatest hits starring winner of BBC1’s ‘I’d Do Anything’, Jodie Prenger. The crowd was encouraged to get up, dance and sing along to music from We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia, Grease and other shows.
Towards the end of the day Eddie Izzard made an appearance to talk about the Join In Trust which he is Patron of, then do a small stand up routine. Eddie Izzard was involved in the search for 70,000 volunteers for the London 2012 Games and he took time out of him new world tour, Force Majeure, to be a Go Local to keep the spirit of the volunteers alive.
The show closed with McFly playing some of their most famous songs, including Star Girl, 5 Colours in Her Hair and Obviously, until they were kicked off with three songs left to play as the concert had overrun and needed to end. Disappointment from band and fans alike but I’m just pleased I got to hear the majority of their set as they were amazing! Tom Fletcher – lead singer of McFly – has connections with the Olympics as last year he wrote the London 2012 mascots’ official song, ‘On a Rainbow’, singing it with his sister Carrie.
The real test of the event was with my brother, a Gamesmaker at the Olympics, and luckily he enjoyed it as much as I did. He loved being in the Park again surrounded by hundreds of Gamesmakers, but what really made the day for him was meeting Seb Coe, an inspiration to so many people over the last few years.
If you want to get involved with volunteering visit https://www.joininuk.org/ to find out about organisations near you. And if you live in London you can find out more about what you can do here: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/volunteering.
Go Local was such a great concert and now I can’t wait to start doing some more volunteering!