By Emily Stratford:
Greetings from paradise!
It’s been just under one month since Matt and I touched down in Nassau to work with the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games Organizing Committee. It’s hard to believe how quickly I have settled in and how much we’ve already done. I give huge thanks to the other interns, Geordie and Luke, for helping us adjust to island living, starting with their warm welcome at the airport when we landed. They then brought us to our new apartment to drop off our luggage before we headed out for our first dinner at a restaurant called the Twisted Lime which has become a go to spot when we don’t feel like cooking ourselves.
As Matt and I already knew through communication with Geordie and Luke over the past few months, there is a lot left to do before the Games begin in July. What we have been assigned to do right off the bat is to provide system support to our respective Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs). I am responsible for CGAs from the Caribbean, Oceania, and part of Europe. We have been working really hard over the past 4 weeks reviewing and accepting the approximate 1300 athletes that will be competing in the Commonwealth Youth Games into the ATOS Games Management System. This has been a lot of stressful and tedious work but at the end of the day when you look out your office window and see palm trees, you really can’t complain. You can read more about ATOS in Matt’s blog post.
Like I said, there’s already so much we have done in our first month here so I will begin by sharing a little bit from our first press conference and cocktail reception attendance. The press conference included speeches from all head members of the Bahamas Local Organizing Committee (LOC). The purpose of the conference was to build excitement around the games as well as give the public an update on how the budget for the games is being allocated and how the LOC intends to pull these games off. I have never attended something like this before so it was a great experience. Myself and the three other interns got a standing ovation during the conference for all our hard work thus far so that really added to the overall experience.
Once the press conference had concluded we were invited to have some drinks and snacks in the front area of the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium. This area was set up very nicely with various Commonwealth Youth Games signage around the room. It has been very interesting for me to see how the promotional aspects of the Games are all coming together and put into place.
In regards to the promotional side of the Games, Matt and I were asked to think of a campaign that targets the youth in the community. We have since pitched our ideas to the head of Marketing on the LOC and are now awaiting the next steps of hopefully implementing the plan.
I have also been involved in the promotional side of things in another aspect. During my first week of work I was asked by the same Marketing individual to take part in a 30 second promotional radio ad. My first instinct was to say no, as I had never imagined myself doing something like that. However, I came into this experience with the mind set that I won’t turn any opportunity down and to make the most of my time here, even if that means putting myself in situations I am not familiar with. I ended up going to the recording studio my first weekend here to record and I am extremely happy with how it turned out. I have imported the audio below for you to have a listen, I don’t think you’ll miss my part, just listen for the Canadian accent!
Matt and I also got to be part of the two day Commonwealth Youth Games Safeguarding Workshop. In this workshop we learned about the importance of having a duty of care for the children attending the Games and the right they have to be protected from both the legal and moral aspect of harm. During the workshops I was making note of all the similarities I was noticing between what was being talked about and what I have learned as a Sport Management student at Brock. It was great to see a workshop like this happen on a much larger scale than something I am used to at school.
That is all for now and I hope that next month I will be able to share more posts that are not as lengthy. I can’t wait to see what these next two months have in store for me and for the excitement around the games to build even more!
Until next time,