Parliamentary push to honour Olympic volunteers


By a Newsnet reporter

An MP hopes to secure cross-party support for the creation of a new category in this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year competition to recognise the outstanding contribution made by 70,000 volunteer Games Makers during the London 2012 Olympics.

Perth and North Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart has tabled an EDM in the House of Commons calling for the creation of a category honouring the 70,000 volunteers who worked a total of eight million hours to ensure the Games ran seamlessly. Mr Wishart has already written to the BBC Director General urging the creation of a new category.

Mr Wishart said:

“With outstanding success for so many teams of sporting superstars at the London 2012 Olympics, it is no easy task to single out a particular winner for the Sports Personality ‘Team of the Year Award’ 2012.

“Scotland is rightly proud of its athletes who won a record-breaking number of medals, and the record number of 55 Scots who were in the team. Their success, and that of their colleagues in Team GB, has been phenomenal.

“This was an Olympic Games with real heart, and that’s thanks in large part to the warmth, enthusiasm and energy of the thousands of people, from all walks of life, who volunteered their time to ensure that the Games ran seamlessly. The well-named Games Makers did not seek fame or favour – they worked for nothing but the knowledge they were a part of such a historic event. However small their role may have seemed, they knew they were an important part of something bigger – and showed exactly what teamwork is all about.

“While admittedly 70,000 people would be a tight squeeze in the BBC Sports Personality studio, every single one of the volunteers deserves recognition for their collective achievement in making the games such a sporting success.

“With such a wealth of sporting talent to choose from this year, the BBC should increasing the number of awards on the table to allow both athletes and volunteers to get the recognition they deserve. I can think of no worthier winner for a team achievement award for 2012 than the ‘Games Makers’ of the London Olympics 2012.”