By Matt Spina:
Hello from Nassau everyone!
I apologize for the delayed first post but it has been a busy three weeks… closer to a month at this point! Emily and I landed on the 2nd of May on a rather warm evening here on New Providence Island with nothing but excitement flowing through our veins. Then I found out my luggage would arrive two days later, and it put a little damper on my first night here.
However, I was lucky enough to have variety of gym clothes to get me through the first couple days and still enjoy myself!
We spent the first few days getting accustomed to our area, and getting our apartment all set up and the groceries bought… we also had the opportunity to spend some time at the beach near our place with both Luke and Geordie, getting a crash course in snorkeling and the intricacies of throwing a beach football. Two evenings, and a pretty hefty sunburn later, we “got down to business” so to speak.
Our first few days of work were spent getting used to the ATOS Games Management system, which is essentially set up to handle all applications from each of the 69 countries attending and ultimately used to verify and finally, to process the accreditation of each member of the delegation. This would include athletes, team officials, medical staff, media, Secretary Generals and more!
We immediately jumped in with both feet and are now the main outlets for any ATOS-related inquiries and are the primary Accreditation Managers of our respective countries. I am responsible for all countries in Asia, Africa, America, and part of Europe totaling approximately 34, and Emily is responsible for the Caribbean, Oceania, and the other half of Europe equaling about the same amount.
Without a doubt our biggest challenge to date has been the “Mass Upload Template”. This template was designed to reduce the amount of time countries would have to spend uploading individual applications on the system, and instead submit a coded spreadsheet listing all the relevant information.
Accompanying the spreadsheet are verification photos of each person’s passport and head shot. If the formatting meets the specific requirements – all is well. Unfortunately, a lot of ones we received required minor adjustments to be made to file names and date formats before uploading. This ended up being a long, but necessary process. We spent some long days, and even worked late into the night several times to ensure we hit the deadline!
Right now, we are currently wrapping up the last few countries who are in the process of entering their athletes into sports and their specific events. This is in preparation for our next workflow which I’ll speak about in my next post.
Outside of our day-to-day duties in the office, we have had the opportunity to be a part of several exciting experiences like the following:
- A press conference for the games
- Assisting in a promotional campaign
- Attending and participating in a workshop on Child Welfare and Safeguarding policies and procedures
For more details on these experiences I’ll point you over to Emily’s post!
As this is becoming more of a short story rather than a blog post, I will quickly say that our hosts have been nothing but welcoming and helpful in the largest way. It has also been great having our own personal tour guides (Luke and Geordie) helping us navigate the area and the island in general. We’ve all been having a great time hanging out together on weekends and at work. I know Emily and myself would have had a much more difficult time getting settled if it wasn’t for them.
Normally around this time of year, I would be a month into coaching and preparation for the outdoor season of soccer with my club GSSC back home. I wouldn’t be thinking beyond my summer job and what my end of season goals are with my youth team. This year however, is an entirely new chapter. I’m living in the Bahamas with the opportunity of a lifetime… and I intend to learn everything I possibly can.
For now, enjoy some pictures, and know that we intend to update a little more often as we approach the games!