A SHEERWATER woman has been reliving the thrill of being a part of the Commonwealth Collective, a group of 13,000 volunteers who made last year’s Games in Birmingham an experience to remember.

Anne O’Neill joined Birmingham Festival 23 to celebrate the anniversary of the Commonwealth Games and meet again her fellow collectives.

“There was a party for the collectives who worked at all the various sports arenas and had made last summer such an unforgettable experience for athletes and visitors,” Anne said. “All the collectives were awarded a silver baton and a certificate as a special memento.

“On the silver baton was inscribed ‘Making History Together Birmingham 2022’ and the dates of the Games, and on the certificate is ‘The very essence of the baton is the connection of a team. As a valued member of the Birmingham 2022 team, we hope this baton will remind you that we came together, to unite and inspire a new generation. For this and much more, thank you for being part of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games’.

“I felt very proud to receive such lovely mementos to keep and to be able to look back at and read about the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“It made me think of the day I saw a lady struggling walking on her crutches, so I directed her to the transport that took people to the station.

“I talked to her and her husband and helped the lady on to the train and then helped them and showed them where they wanted to go.

“The lady was especially grateful for my help and understanding because she was in a lot of pain after a foot operation. I know what it’s like to be in pain and on crutches myself, so I hope those moments really did help people to enjoy the Games.

“It was good to hear Colin Jackson, the former Great Britain and Wales hurdler, speak about his Commonwealth Games experiences and how happy he was to be involved.

“How the collectives were a very important part of the Games, how hard they worked to make all the spectators happy and how everyone will have their own special memories of such a spectacular sporting event. 

“I left Birmingham feeling pleased that I’d had an enjoyable time attending such a special festival and it brought back happy memories of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“It was a privilege and a honour to be part of such a spectacular sporting event. I will never forget it.”