Olympic family goes extra mile for 2012

By Jessica Elgot, July 5, 2012
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Judy De Haan

Judy De Haan

Five relatives are all playing their part in the "Olympic family" over the coming weeks, volunteering in different roles at the Games, from making props, to giving massages, escorting officials and directing tourists.

Jeremy Silverstone, 52, from Potters Bar, has spent the past six months building some of the 13,000 props to be used in the Olympic and Paralympics. He has also recruited his cousin Phil Peters, chair of MSFL football team Norstar FC, to volunteer with the props team.

Volunteering at the Games is a "full-time job, which I do alongside my full-time job in my marketing business," Mr Silverstone said. He travels to the rehearsal ground in Dagenham or to the site in Stratford around five times a week. "I really wanted to have some involvement in the ceremonies. I applied right at the beginning, but only six months ago got a place in staging."

His mother-in-law Judy De Haan, 72, from Beckenham will be donning a pink and purple uniform as a "London Ambassador" to greet visitors to the North Greenwich arena which is hosting gymnastics, basketball and trampoline. "You have to have a good knowledge of London, how the transport works, where the venues are," she said.

Mr Silverstone's brother and sister-in-law Nick and Karen Silverstone, both sports massage therapists from St Albans, are volunteering to massage the tired limbs of Olympic athletes. Nick Silverstone, 45, will be based in the athlete's village, and Mrs Silverstone, 44, is working with the Afghan and British Virgin Islands teams at their base at the University of Hertfordshire and at Wembley Arena during the Games.

"Everyone is giving their time for free, and I'll be there for around 100 hours over the two weeks," said Nick Silverstone.

Last updated: 12:07pm, July 5 2012