A magical summer for rowing volunteers

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It’s been quite a year for 44-year-old Rob Jenkins. After carrying the Olympic Torch and volunteering at the Olympic Rowing Regatta he returned to Eton Dorney for the Paralympic rowing.

“It all seems to involve wearing different uniforms!” said the Lloyds TSB employee who has run the London Marathon an incredible 16 times.

“It was great to find a lot of the same volunteers here again at the Paralympics. There’s a real camaraderie – the atmosphere is amazing.

“I thought I was going to have trouble with the 4.15am alarm calls at the Olympics, but I had no problem as I really enjoyed what I was doing and feeling a part of something so special.”

A particular highlight was being on grandstand duty when Heather Stanning and Helen Glover won the first gold for Team GB. “What a privilege,” he reflected.

Another treasured moment came in May when he carried the Olympic Torch through the centre of Bradford on Avon in the first week of the relay.

“The day was phenomenal. It was an unbelievable experience,” said Rob.

“Everyone’s cheering for you at the London Marathon but you’re one of many runners. At the Torch Relay, you’re the only one running and they’re cheering because you’re carrying the Torch. The flame that I carried is the same that was at the Olympic Opening Ceremony which is a surreal thought.”

Rob brought his Torch to share with other volunteers at the Olympic rowing and it caused quite a stir.

“There were quite a few people who wanted their photos taken with it and it ended up interrupting my shift patterns! There really is something magical about it.”

And after being involved at the Olympic and Paralympic rowing, Rob is tempted to find out more about the sport.

He said, “I’ve never rowed before, but after my experience here, I’m thinking of doing a taster session next summer”

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