SELKIRK’S Jillian Malkin will be heavily involved in the Olympic Games as one of the 70,000-strong team of volunteers helping the London sporting extravaganza run smoothly.
The pensions administrator registered her interest in 2010. She was interviewed in Gateshead in May last year and heard she was successful in September. Over 1/4million people applied to assist at the iconic games in July and August.
She told The Wee Paper: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, the excitement and the buzz of it all - I just think it will be a fantastic time.”
Jillian, from Kingsland Avenue, explained: “I’ve always liked watching the Olympics on TV. I didn’t know if they would ever come to Scotland so obviously London was the closest place. I’m 31 and later in life I may have ties and wouldn’t be able to do it, but there is nothing to stop me now.”
She will be in a team called “event services” in the Olympic Park which has nine competition venues. And she will be working 9-10 hours shifts for 16 days with two days off.
She said: “It could be anything from preparing people for the security check points to checking people’s tickets to pointing them in the direction of the information booths.”
Jillian works for the Scottish Government’s pensions agency at Tweedbank but is not volunteering because of the love of any particular sport.
She told us: “I participate in zumba and kettle bells, I played hockey at school, but it’s just that I was interested in helping. I don’t think I was born to be a sporty person, so to encourage other people who are into sport, I think, is a good thing.”
She has volunteered before, helping marshal and time-keep at the annual Borders Sport and Leisure Trust’s Selkirk triathlon
Jillian has saved up holidays to be able to participate and she enthused: “I’m looking forward to the whole buzz of it all. Before, people were talking about the economy and saying we couldn’t afford the Olympics, but now that it’s drawing closer and we have the Queen’s Jubilee, I think more and more people are beginning to thinking ‘this is happening, we may as well enjoy it’.
“My work has been really kind and helpful and let me take the time off. It’s quite a big thing for me. I’ll be meeting people from all walks of life. I never went to university, I’ve never lived away from home, I’m not going with a friend, I don’t know anyone else who’s going, I’m just doing it myself, it’s a big step.”
And she’s applied to help at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.