Olympic hurdle for Mairead

IT’S her Olympic dream but Lurgan girl Mairead McMahon is facing her first hurdle on her way to Wembley.

The 19-year-old has been chosen as a volunteer to work during the two weeks of the London Olympics 2012

Described as a Games Maker, Mairead will be helping to steward the games, ticketing and generally make sure everyone has a wonderful time.

Indeed after the Opening Ceremony on July 27, Mairead will begin her volunteering the next day.

Mairead is really excited about this opportunity as she is currently studying Leisure and Events Management at the University of Ulster.

The Allengrove girl said: “I am the only one that I know of from Lurgan doing this.

“I am really excited to be part of such a big world wide event,” said Mairead, who is a former pupil at St Michael’s Grammar School.

She explained that there are around 70,000 ‘Games Makers’ involved in the Olympics.

And Mairead has scooped a prime spot of all the volunteers - the Wembley Arena.

Obviously as a volunteer she doesn’t get paid and furthermore she has to pay for her own travelling costs to London, her accommodation and living costs and travel expenses to and from her volunteering work.

Mairead, who is also a fully registered Special Olympics Volunteer, is hoping some local businesses will sponsor her so she can fulfil her dream to be part of the Olympics.

The bubbly Lurgan girl, who is also a volunteer youth worker at Clan Eireann, said: “I want to know if local businesses could sponsor me.

“The games makers do not get paid to do this and they don’t get accommodation and travel costs.

“So I will be working for free and don’t have any money for my board and keep.

“It is an exciting opportunity and I would like some help to see me carry it through.

“For just a one day’s training session next week I had to book time off work and pay my own travel costs which came to more than £150,” she revealed.

“I will be in London for just over two weeks so it is going to cost me a lot of money just to be there.

“We will be working 11 to 12 hour days but it will be worth it because it will be part of the Olympics.

“This will also be very useful for my degree as I am studying leisure and events management,” said Mairead.

If anyone would like to sponsor Mairead, contact her at maireadmcmahon@hotmail.co.uk or call 07513 833 905

And Mairead is keeping everyone up-to-date with all her Olympic experiences on her blog http://maireadmcmahon.blogspot.com