Our Olympic people - Briony Thomson

Protocol team leader

My role at the University is managing the SAA (Student and Academic Administration) team in the Faculty of Health Sciences. The team delivers a range of services to support students’ learning and experience at University.

My interest in volunteering at the Olympics stems from a chance encounter way back in 1972. I had been taking part in some volunteer working building a children’s playground in Germany and we finished the work early.

I was asked by the Mayor of the local town what he could do to repay us for our work, so I asked for tickets to the 1972 Munich games, a request that the Mayor fulfilled for us. I was so affected by the Munich games that I have said ever since, that if the Olympics ever came to London, I would make sure I volunteered to be a part of it.

The process to become a volunteer at London 2012 has been a long one. I applied to be a volunteer in June 2011 and was then called to interview before being assigned my role as protocol team leader. My volunteering experience took place for a week during the Badminton competition with the role including supporting officials and VIPs at the event to ensure that they were in the right place at the right time and were correctly prepared.

I attended three training sessions ahead of the games, which I found to be a real reminder of community spirit in Britain. Those chosen to volunteer were from a wide range of backgrounds, all of whom were positive and enthusiastic. The highlight of my volunteering experience was definitely meeting Seb Coe. The experience has provided a real boost to my ordinary working life and I am proud to have fulfilled the promise I made to myself in 1972.