UDAC

UDAC Uniform distribution and accreditation centre for GamesMakers for the Paralympics is set up in what may have been a factory:-

Purpose of Report / Proposal

Demolition of all existing buildings and the erection of four buildings subdivided into

twelve units totalling 10,621sqm for B1c (Business – Light Industry), B2 (General

Industry) and B8 (Storage and Distribution) employment uses with ancillary yards and

parking

next to dire Star Lane area in dire Stephenson Street in dire Canning Town adjacent to  the fresh and newish Star Lane DLR station. I travelled to aforesaid dire area on a 276 bus and lo and behold the bus was on a London 2012 diversion so I was totally lost, in strange deserted land. The driver was kind and dropped me off at dog- turd alley so I could walk the 10 minutes to the station. I was never tempted to turn back because part of my job to collect my GamesMaker uiform was to covet my pair of Adidas trainers. I had been successful last year in being given the chance to be a GamesMaker at the Paralympics but was in two minds wheher to take  up the post for many reasons, eg security, travel to and fro.  A pair of trainers clinched the deal really.

Got across from Star Lane into Stephenson Street via the station footbridge. I was carrying an old pre -Olympic Park map page of the address from the  “Master Atlas of Greater London NHS Trust London Ambulance Service”  which was of little help as it was from way back when at a time when Carpenters Road was busy and dirty full of second hand car workshops called garages and at a time when no-one cared about Canning Town. Oh!  They still don’t.

I saw the flags and a litter of GamesMakers in front of the UDAC building. I showed my passport and stated my business.I entered the massive busy place.Got mi trainers…..

Then it was try on for comfort the uniform. No mirrors. Can’t fault Adidas quality of course but I hate Adidas trousers. They are never quite the generous size around female bum and thighs. So I made do because the next size up looked like Ronald McDonald’s painting overalls. The polo top and jacket are as comfortable as silk. Already others’ stuff’s up on Ebay.

Went along to the collection point. Oh My goodness. So well done, so organised, so army. I was given a bag, an Adidas bag, and  my peers put in clothes after clothes, then the trainers then other whatnots. Never knew until I emptied the bag indoors what goodies I had as well as an Oyster card. There were 2 polo tops, 2 pairs of yuk trousers, 2 pairs of Adidas socks, my trainers, jacket, unbrella just in case, my cap, Coco Cola drink bottle, Swatch Watch, notebook and epaulettes or something I’ve not opened yet. Amazing! Awesome. I am grateful. My only hardship really is getting to my job for 0615h ! Aren’t I a lucky one? I did get the job via interview I said to myself as another GamesMaker spoke to me and I wondered what form of English I’d just heard.

Think of that Shreddies advert and the Wonga one then know that in real life all those grannies are out there GamesMaking in on trend Adidas trainers.  Good on their spirit. Shame on Shreddies for not smashing the stereotype. The only knitters I know now live on a remote Scottish island or are tote maze in Dalston.

I run Up Your Street and it was originally formed to engage seniors with the coming of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012. I believe becoming a Gamesmaker,  sold out to Adidas or McDonalds or Coca Cola, (I had to research Atos), is the culmination of the work of Up Your Street. What makes me glum is that seniors I know still have not been into the Stadium. They never saw the adverts for cheap tickets or what? £5 tickets for seniors to get into the Paralympics? Opportunities to become Gamesmakers? You have to grab!

Now let’s see how I get on! You have to be in the mood for all that American style gushing. Don’t get me wrong. I can do that! I cannot do the Stadium stairs. They are steep , high and many. Even the youth say that. Not as bad as the gods in O2 mind.

I live on the back of The Stadium. I was naive such that when I applied for Gamesmaker I imagined myself ambling through Orient Way or catching the W19 as a case was made for it to reach from E17 to E20. Never happened. The roads were all closed off. I became an outsider in my own habitat. I was stoooopid and naive and gave in to some officiating Olympic body my enthusiastic plan for High Street Seniors to walk on the perimeter of the Park at dusk throughout the Olympics. We weren’t wanted there mucking up their security. I was a flea in the big plan eh?

When I texted my sister that I was now a uniformed GamesMaker she replied, “What’s a GamesMaker?” Cheers!

PS  The (UDAC) site is located along Stephenson Street in Canning Town near the Cody

Road industrial estate and is located within a predominately industrial area.

The site is rectilinear in shape and roughly level and comprises a range of

existing commercial warehouse buildings and hardstandings. At the front of

the site, adjacent to the main vehicular access, is a locally listed two (plus

attic) storey building. The building was the former offices of the Canning Town

Glass Works, built around 1925.

Personal Best at the Paralympics.

Is anyone monitoring the conditions under which the Olympic Park volunteers  aka Gamesmakers work? The concerned grapevine has it that breaks are rare, that they stand in all sorts of weather, and that they get only £1.50 daily food allowance, not even enough for a  Big Mac and fries.  What is true?  I did meet a volunteer  driver who uses the ORN of course who told me quite blatantly that London black -cab drivers spit at her. I’d dump the uniform and go home.

The Paralympic Games look like the poor sister to the biggies. It would help if people could say the word “Paralympic”. I was on a Personal Best programme in 2009 which was designed to motivate people back to unpaid work in the Games Park. Everyone was naive then.  I joined because I was desperate to get into The Olympics and Paralympics Games to watch or sniff. I was in love with the whole excitement about the Games coming to Stratford E15.

Ours was a poorly attended 6 days over 6 weeks local course. Women had been cajoled and enrolled from a large housing estate and their minds were filled with shivery memories of school, urgent child-care arrangements and what to get for dinner. The only regular attender was the tutor. I remember  lots of hole- punching as we collected and filed hand-outs all about the history of The Olympics and other character- exposing questionnaires to see if we would slot into the essential criteria bit on a application form. Oh dire it all was. It finished. Thousands received their certificates and all was forgotten.

I went to my Gamesmaker interview, and did a lot of Cadbury chocolate-tasting as I pretended to be in awe of the Sainsbury’s guy who’d been on an American style howdidoody presentation workshop. I ate more chocolate aware that I was being tracked on CCtv cameras. My interviewer was a slip of an Eastern European accented girl who had no idea of my involvement with or my enthusiasm for the coming Games on my doorstep. But smile I did as the camera was rolling. My mumma raised no fool.

I was taken on as Gamesmaker for The Paralympics and even then knew I was second-rate. The Paralympics is not The Olympics. And to those classmates on Personal Best, the word “Paralympics” is as foreign to them as the word “Ramadan”. Those so-called students who could never be suitable to represent British people to tourists because those stereotyped desirables only exist in “Chariots Of Fire” are nowhere to be seen through the Westfield E20 and John Lewis windows. They certainly never got free tickets to smell the flowers or the canals. There was all the time a wink wink nod suggestion that Personal Best students would get a freebie to the Games. Naive we all were, including the organisers and the tutors.

The person who gained from that course is the Eritrean tutor who learnt something about the failures of a British education system.

So, Paralympics and Personal Best: The London 2012 team is still recruiting Gamesmakers for the Channel 4’s Games. Forget interviews, security checks and just mention Personal Best like it’s a passport visa. Say that there was definitely a promise of a job on completion of the course. No-one will check that. Get your free fitted uniform  with shoes too and transport arranged to take you to your job. (As if the csa’s in Canary Wharf or wherever they flout their mauve shirts even know what Personal Best is. My interviewer dismissed my Personal Best mention because she had enough trouble writing down  my past volunteering activities.)

Now that non-selection process makes a mockery of my already degraded position.

But I am so over it. Good luck to those latecomer Gamesmakers who are joining forces with the Forces. I have been into the Park many times now and will go again yet. It was funny that I entered names into the Waltham Forest ballot to have a look about the Park. Every person got a place and a wonderful time looking at the flowers and the majesty that is Olympia. It was a ballot remember so Lady Luck was surely out there. I never got a ticket. How weird. But I’m over it. Over the Games altogether if the truth be told but hanging in there ready for the Legacy lies to morph into whatever McDonalds wants.

Sublimer spoiler. Argos  displays the Gamesmakers’ colours at the beginning of its current stoooopid advert.

£5 for a bacon roll? Booked for Open House @Olympic Park too!

I had a first class experience at the Basketball Arena hosted by London Prepares. Watched the match between Australia and China. Whoever knew the ticket allowed us to stay all day but never mind. The whole event was happy, like a McDonalds advert. Even the security guards, bag-checkers and ushers were smiling and everything was laid on perfectly from Alma Road in Stratford right into the auditorium.

On the way in there were eateries with platters of Chinese snacks, French crusty bread take-aways, coffee stalls, right good chips, and bacon rolls for a fiver.

I thought it was all along the lines of the O2

In the break along came a group of street-dancers onto the court. Lucky them. They certainly entertained us. Bravo boys!

The place was about a fifteenth full . The crowd hardly reflected the multi-cultural society  in which we live especially around Newham and Waltham Forest. People of all ages had come along. There were even babes in arms. I was just behind Hackney London 2012 Youth Ambassadors marked out by their emblazoned logos. What an opportunity for those youngsters. And an unforgettable experience too.

The match was ace; well we are talking top sportspeople. Just great. For a tenner I had a nice afternoon out. That was the concession price.

  

With dogged persistence, Up Your Street obtained 6 …   6!   places  for the Open House Olympic Tours Weekend 10 th and 11th  September 2011 for Up Your Street subscribers. The phone- lines were jammed solid as well on Monday. Phew! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up Your Street issue 33 on its way. Loads to get to and the Stratford Summer Festival is already in your diaries for Saturday.