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Debbie with the Minister for Sport and Olympics Hugh Robertson (fifth and third from left) after a handball test event in the Copper Box


the Olympic Villages in Stratford, Eton Dorney and Weymouth and Portland.


How do you gain and promote best practice in event organisation? One of the most important things that we did was ensure that we appointed the best people to do the role. Then we sent all our sport managers to either a World or European Championships sport to work alongside the event organisation. We also sent a team to Beijing to shadow their counterparts during the 2008 Games and learned from the experience of inter- national federations and the transfer of knowledge from previous Games. The International Olympic Committee


and LOCOG will conduct an observer pro- gramme to allow future Games organisers to collate information and the Rio sport team will shadow us to get ‘on the spot’ information as we did in Beijing. We have already had a number of visits from the Rio and Sochi organising committees, par- ticularly during the test events.


Were the test events a success? The 42 test events programme has been invaluable. Nothing compares with actu- ally delivering the event, using the field of play and physically testing the venue.


Issue 3 2012 © cybertrek 2012


One piece of advice we’ll be sharing with other organising committees is ‘do not underestimate the value of test events’


You can’t foresee everything so there’s a lot of learning – not only at the venue but also seeing how the team communi- cates with each other. An Organising Committee is focused


rightly on the Olympic and Paralympic Games and often regards a test event programme as a distraction. However, our learnings have been immense and all now agree that they are an integral and neces- sary part of Games planning. We offered a mixture of existing world championships and LOCOG invitational events as well as using existing events such as Wimbledon.


What will the Games’ medical and anti-doping services consist of? We have worked very closely with the Department of Health and the NHS re- garding the delivery of medical services throughout the Games period. We’ve put in place an agreement with the am- bulance service as well as service level agreements with a number of hospitals


– ensuring that the daily routine of hospi- tals is not impacted. With these agreements in place we are


able to offer over-arching medical ser- vices to the officials, the workforce, the spectators, members of the media, the Olympic family and of course the 15,000 athletes across both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games. The polyclinic and pharmacy will be


within the Olympic Village – which is where the majority of treatment will take place and at its peak will treat up to 300 a day. We have also developed an anti-dop- ing laboratory in Harlow, Essex, with our partners GSK for the testing of samples. During Games time, we’ll perform 5,000


tests – of which 20 per cent will be blood tests – at the Olympics and 2,500 at the Par- alympics. We have a very comprehensive testing system in place, with the best pos- sible analysing equipment. Our message is clear – don’t cheat and take drugs, we have everything in place to catch you. ●


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