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News > Old Princethorpians News > OPs Commonwealth Games Volunteering Success

OPs Commonwealth Games Volunteering Success

Old Princethorpians Connor Gladwin, Sue Panton and Molly Geehan were lucky enough to play a part in the 2022 Commonwealth Games. We have spoken to them to get their take on their experience. 

Over the summer, the 2022 Commonwealth Games were held in Birmingham. Across 12 days, more than 20 sports were played, including seven para-sport competitions. These games were the largest multi-sport event to be held in England for over 10 years, featuring thousands of world-class athletes, over 1.5million spectators and of course, the volunteers. 

Old Princethorpians Connor Gladwin, Sue Panton and Molly Geehan were lucky enough to play a part at these Games. We have spoken to them to get their take on their experience. 

Connor Gladwin (Class of 2016) was one of the many DJs playing at this year's Commonwealth Games. 

After picking up the hobby in Year 9, Connor went on to pursue DJing as a career after he left Sixth Form.

Speaking about his experience, Connor said: "DJing at the Commonwealth Games was an amazing experience. I played at the artistic and rhythmic gymnastics events at Arena Birmingham.

Playing to a crowd of nearly 10,000 people was a fantastic experience. This is my proudest achievement to date."

Connor DJs locally in Leamington Spa and across the UK, specifically Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester. For bookings and information, you can visit his website at djconnorg.com and follow his Instagram @djconnorg.

Former parent, Sue Panton, takes up her story:

"In November 2021, I was lucky enough to be called up for an interview to volunteer at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. 54,000 people had applies and 26,000 were interviewed for 14,000 places. I consoled myself that I had a 50/50 chance of getting a place!


In February 2022 I found out I'd been selected. I really felt so excited that I was going to be part of this amazing event that was happening on my doorstep in Birmingham. Two training events took place and my uniform arrived by courier. I coudn't wait to start! 

Although I lived in Leamington, I was assigned to work at the NEC Birmingham to work with the netball teams. As I used to play netball and love the game, it was perfect.

My role was different each day which meant I never got bored. We were given big foam hands each so that we could show people where they had to be and identify us as volunteers to help them. 

My biggest excitement was when I was working in the arena helping people to their seats and I was on the television dancing to Staying Alive! I was amazed at how many people saw me and good to know how much people were getting caught up in the magic of the games. 

I went to the Opening Ceremony and knew then that Birmingham had pulled out all the stops to make these Games the best and put Birmingham on the map. I was very proud to be part of that!

Finally, Molly Geehan (Class of 2019) who has also recently joined us back at the College in a Marketing and Admissions role, tells us about her experience. 

"After finding out that I had been offered a role in February this year as a Flash Quote reporter for the netball events, all my dreams had come true. Following just finishing my Journalism degree at the University of Worcester, this felt like my first big break. 

I have been playing netball since I started at Princethorpe back in 2012 and throughout my time here the sports department helped me reach U21 National Level, playing for the likes of Wasps, Loughborough Lightning and Severn Stars, so being able to report on something I loved really meant a lot to me. 

I went through numerous training events from learning about the specifics of my role to the health and safety measures in the venue I was going to be working in. The time flew by and suddenly it was Games time!

I had such a blast. From meeting international netball players and top-quality journalists like Caroline Barker and Clare Balding to making friends that will last a lifetime; I could not fault it. I also had to look after the England team one afternoon and having known some of them from past training sessions and netball career paths crossing, it was lovely to be able to catch up after so long. 

I gained so much journalistic experience as my role was to interview the players after they had stepped off the court. We would discuss the match and what improvements they would make for future games, as well as general life outside the arena and what they get up to when they weren't competing. Some of my quotes were used all over the world, from The Daily Mail to 7News in Australia. 

I would recommend volunteering at any event like this to anyone. The skills that I have taken away from it are invaluable and I wish I could go back and do it all over again."

A huge congratulations to Connor, Sue and Molly on their Commonwealth successes. 

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