The Olympic Games Makers have won the award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013.
The coveted accolade was one of 17 presented at a glittering ceremony hosted by the national tourist board at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, in Manchester, on May 20.
The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award was awarded to the army of 70,000 Games Makers in recognition of the nine million hours spent welcoming and assisting visitors at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games last summer. In winning this award, they join an exclusive group of English tourism champions.
Olympic Games Maker from Lincolnshire, Robin Wright, said: “For me, being a Games Maker was the pinnacle of Sport Volunteering, to volunteer at the Olympics and in London was the Gold Medal of volunteering. I was absolutely taken back with the Games Makers Spirit, you simply cannot bottle this amount of motivation and enthusiasm directed at supporting the performers and the spectators; it was the excellence of the Games. The Organisers could have never imagined the success story of the Games Makers; it simply changed people’s lives. They became the story and the show case of London 2012.”
Previous winners include The English Pub, The National Trust, The Royal Shakespeare Company and last year’s winner, The English Garden.
The award was presented by former Olympic triple jump Gold Medallist, Jonathan Edwards.
Four Games Makers who worked at events in both Manchester and London accepted the trophy on behalf of their fellow volunteers; also present was Nicola Sweeney from Locog, who managed the recruitment process of whittling down a quarter of a million applicants to the final 70,000 Games Makers.
VisitEngland’s Chairman, Lady Cobham, commented: “The Games Makers were ambassadors not just for London 2012, but for the entire country. As the face of the Games, they showed great humour, grace under pressure and an amazing team spirit. The warm welcome and friendly assistance they provided will be remembered fondly by visitors from both home and abroad for many years to come, and I’m delighted that we are able to recognise their unique contribution to tourism with this award.”our Games Makers who worked at events in both Manchester and London accepted the trophy on behalf of their fellow volunteers; also present was Nicola Sweeney from Locog, who managed the recruitment process of whittling down a quarter of a million applicants to the final 70,000 Games Makers.
Other awards announced at the ceremony in Manchester included the best Bed and Breakfast, Small Hotel, Tourism Experience, Tourism Pub of the Year, Taste of England, Sustainable Tourism, Business Tourism and Access for All Tourism Award.