Games shape golden memories for team Halcyon
The athletes and the crowds have left but the incredible memories are here to stay for the 30 Halcyon homeowners who volunteered at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Known as Games Shapers, they were among the 15,000 volunteers who became the friendly and helpful face of the 11-day event.
Third-time Commonwealth Games volunteer Doreen Morrison, of Halcyon Parks, loved that her role as a driver involved so much interaction with athletes.
Doreen drove athletes from Scotland, Wales and tiny island nation of St Helena as they trained and acclimatised on the Sunshine Coast in the weeks before the Games.
“It was absolutely lovely to speak to the athletes,” Doreen said.
“The St Helena athletes were just gobsmacked by how much we have here and so appreciative of all that we were doing for them.
“You could feel how much they appreciated you, and that is a very humbling experience and makes it more than worthwhile.
“It was great, I really enjoyed it and I did have fun.”
Doreen then found herself glued to the TV when the Games began.
“I had a numb bum and square eyes,” she laughed.
“I am a sports watcher and I saw many of the athletes I had met during their time on the Sunshine Coast.”
As a volunteer driver, Halcyon Waters homeowner Ian Pedersen’s passengers included Rugby Sevens players as well as Games officials and managers.
Ian recalls playing tour guide when driving several high-ranking Scottish officials to a meeting at Dreamworld.
“I decided to treat them to the scenic route through Runaway Bay, Paradise Point, Sovereign Island and Hope Island rather than taking the M1,” he said.
“It was picture-perfect weather and they loved it.
“They were very blown away by the sheer beauty of the place.”
Ian said he was thrilled to have played a part in the Games.
“For me GC2018 is up there with the best experiences in my life,” he said.
“The music, the atmosphere, the people, the ‘Aussie way’, the dancing at the stadiums, the weather, the vibes, the volunteer team, the management, the attention to detail, and more are what made these Games so special.
“Prior to retirement, I chaired and planned many large festivals in central Queensland as well as being a shire councillor for two terms, so I have total respect for the organisation and planning went into this event.
“I am so proud of the Gold Coast and of its people.”
Back at the Games Village, Ian’s wife Marilyn was an assistant to the athletes from Botswana.
“It was an exceptional experience because I felt so proud and excited to be part of showcasing my beautiful city to the world,” she said.
“I had the opportunity to see my Team Botswana in action and winning medals at both the Games and at an international meet in Brisbane before the Games began.
“Botswana only has two million people, but they were just beautiful people.
“I loved being with them and I am sure that they loved my presence.”
Halcyon Landing’s Colleen Watts found herself in the centre of things, literally, during training and competition for the cycling at Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.
Colleen was smack-bang in the middle of the action at the track, working in the infield where the athletes and officials were based.
“It was loud but so great because everyone was so happy, it didn’t matter who won or who got the Commonwealth Games record,” she said.
“We saw three or four world records set and so many Australian records because the track is one of the fastest in the world.”
Colleen also volunteered at the road cycling time trial at Currumbin and managed to squeeze in some spectator time at the netball, beach volleyball and athletics events.
“I was busy every day; if I wasn’t working, I was at an event,” she said.
“It was lots of fun.”