It’s a Saturday, it’s 7am and I’m leaving Manchester for the MS3 Craven Park in Hull and a day of training for my role as Social media journalist at the Rugby League and the collection of my uniform…It’s nice to get to visit my home town now and again. It reminds me why I left in the first place.
As per, I’m one of the first to arrive and after signing in, receive my accreditation pass for the games I’ll be working at. I’m a busy little bee who will be working at the New Zealand V Samoa match on game day 2 in Warrington, followed by Fiji V Ireland in Rochdale, then a couple of days off before Australia V Fiji in St Helens and then Tonga V Cook Islands rounds out my group games before I finish (at the moment, but I’m hoping I get a few more games as people drop out) with the 4th quarter final, back in Warrington.
Once everyone has arrived, we settle in to a team talk, firstly from John Dutton, then Sally Bolton followed by Emma Neve. We also get a diversity talk from Sarah Williams MBE, outlining both the World Cup and the RFL stance, with the rather good Tackle it! Campaign, including the George Riley fronted video, featuring members of the RFL family from all areas of society.
We then got the 3 o’clock parade chat from Martin of Quest for excellence. For those of you that don’t know, THE most asked question of cast members at the Disney theme parks is…
“What time does the three O’clock parade start?”
Martin explained that despite it seeming to be an easy enough question to answer, it was the way we, as volunteers, answered similar questions that could make or break a fans experience of the game.
Simple things like “Where is my seat” are not as daft as we may think. The spectator may never have been to a game in that ground before, and could easily be lost, especially at one of the larger stadiums, such as Wembley.
It reminded me of a friend who went to work on a cruise ship as a pit boss in the casino and was once asked on his way to do his shift, if the stairs he was passing went up or down…
I thought this was such a stupid question, until a relative from Texas told me that in schools, they allocate stairs at either end of the building as UP or DOWN, to minimise accidents with people rushing about.
So, once Martin had let us into the secret of how to answer what seems like a stupid question and treat it with the respect it and the person asking it deserves, we adjourned for lunch.
Post Sarnies & chips in the 10-5 suite, Tom Coates had a quick chat about the do’s and don’ts of being a volunteer and how to use social media to reach a wider audience without bringing ourselves and the tournament into disrepute.
We then all went into our separate groups for a bit of hands on training before we went to collect out uniforms…
Trust me on this, you will know who we are. They are not green, but GREEN. And blue.
Want to know how you answer a 3 O’clock parade question? Get yourselves down to the Rugby League World Cup 2013 and ask one of us…We’ve all been trained to handle (almost) anything.