Sunday, July 29, 2012
First of many athlete family members to be hosted arrive in the UK for Olympic Games
By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
LONDON, UK (ANS) -- The first of more than 350 athlete family members receiving free bed and breakfast during the 2012 Olympic Games have been arriving to meet their hosts.
More Than Gold’s (www.morethangold.org.uk ) Athlete Family Homestay program means Australian Bianca Horn will be able to see her brother, boxer Geoffery Horn, compete in the biggest match of his life.
Speaking at the Welcome Centre as she met her host on the first day of arrivals, Bianca said: “It means everything to be here. I've watched Geoffery compete at home but never at any big competitions. To be able to see him compete at the biggest competition of all is so exciting.”
Her host is Raymonde Newman who said: “I love having people around the house and found this to be a personal way to be involved with the Olympic games. I’d always said that if people are coming to the Olympics I would love them to stay with me but this is even more involved.”
Raymonde said she had seen Geoffery Horn box on television and it is a real privilege to host a family member here to support their loved one. “We are going to get right behind the boy,” she added.
Volunteers on the Athlete Family Homestay program provide bed and breakfast for at least eight days for up to two guests. In addition they also give the practical help needed for their guests to make the most of their stay during the Games.
The program, which has featured at all recent Olympics, is run by More Than Gold, an agency set up by all the main denominations to help churches make the most of the 2012 Games.
Herman Beetge, who played a major role in the volunteer program for South Africa’s FIFA World Cup, is coordinating the program which has been awarded LOCOG’s prestigious Inspire mark. He says this program not only helps in the cost of accommodations for these families, but also gives them the practical help they need from a caring local host.
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