London 2012

Press release

Members of Royal Army feel "captured" by volleyball show at Earls Court


Some members of the Royal Army were also among the 15,000 fans that were cheering on the home heroines of Team GB at Earls Court on Wednesday afternoon

London, Great Britain, August 1, 2012 – Approximately 500 soldiers are supporting the work of many volunteers at Earls Court – similarly to other venues of the London Olympics – to guarantee the security of all players, officials and especially of the thousands of spectators that are enjoying the classy actions of the world’s finest volleyball players. Security remains a real priority in a gigantic event like the Olympics but the GB soldiers are always friendly, down-to-earth and never make things complicated as they check your personal belongings or just help you out find the right way to the tube or to the various gates to enter Earls Court.
Polite and always calm, they are understandably proud of being part of the Olympic family.

Once in a while they can enjoy a short break from their routine and get to know what elite volleyball is all about. “Honestly this is the first time I have been attending a volleyball game played at that level” says one of a few members of the military spotted on the stands on a Wednesday afternoon where the ladies of Team GB were playing Italy, a medal contender here in London. “Volleyball is more of an amateur sport in the UK and it really feels great to be part of that terrific show”. As they were sitting right next to some British volleyball officials, they got briefed about the long way the sport has gone in the past few years once it was decided to set up an elite program to make sure the host nation of the XXX Summer Olympiad would have been represented also in the volleyball tournament.
“I did not know much about the background and from what I have been told it looks like in volleyball we haven’t been anywhere as a country, so it is just amazing that our ladies are finally playing at the Olympics and that they were able to make it hard for Italy to claim the first set of this game” adds a member of the Royal Army. 

Actually Italy’s coach Massimo Barbolini had not opted for his best starting six this afternoon at Earls Courts enjoying the opportunity to rest some players as the Olympic tournament is long and extremely demanding. But there is no need to mention this, as it would ruin a perfect portrait of the spirit that is currently uniting a whole nation.

British officials were evidently pleased with the sold-out house that once again accompanied the actions of Team GB and agreed with LOCOG chairman Sebastian Coe who on Tuesday had revealed he was not that surprised by the tremendous figures registered in the first three days of the Olympic contest. “We aren’t maybe that strong yet but this nation likes watching sport and yes, even though we did expect such a terrific attendance, it is very emotional to enjoy this marvelous ambiance that pays back the hard work of the past few years” says Lisa Wainwright, CEO of Volleyball England.  
 

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