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Commonwealth Games Celebrated On Manchester Day

Volunteers from the 2002 Commonwealth Games to reunite on Manchester Day

Written by . Published on June 7th 2012.

Commonwealth Games Celebrated On Manchester Day

The 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester, saw 10,000 volunteers aged between 16 and 87 put in over 1,200 hours of work to help the event run smoothly. The efforts of these volunteers and the continued legacy of hosting the Games will be celebrated as part of the Manchester Day Parade.

“The Games opened the doors for Manchester and we are now home to a raft of cultural events that keep the city well in the world’s spotlight."

Volunteers will parade across Manchester wearing their original uniforms complete with medals sporting a huge ‘V’ for ‘volunteering”, designed by artist Helen Plaumer.

Ten years ago the honour of hosting the Commonwealth Games provided a major catalyst for the continued redevelopment of the now thriving East Manchester which had been one of the most deprived areas in the country previously.

Cllr Rosa Battle, executive member for culture and leisure, said: “The 2002 Games was the largest multi-sport event the UK had seen since the 1948 Olympic Games and it beamed Manchester around the world, ensuring the city’s reputation as a major destination – and a world renowned tourist attraction.

“The Games opened the doors for Manchester and we are now home to a raft of cultural events that keep the city well in the world’s spotlight. It seems fitting that we celebrate the ten year anniversary of this important event at this year’s Manchester Day parade.”

June Artiguez, 72, from Blackley, was one of the volunteers who had a key role in the opening ceremony and remembers how the city was galvanised by the responsibility of hosting the Games.

“I’ve lived in Manchester all my life and I’ve never seen the city the way it was during the Games – or the people for that matter. I think it was pride. We were proud of Manchester and we wanted to show everyone how pleased we were” said June.

Aside from the large-scale regeneration that the Commonwealth Games brought, they also stimulated a new culture of volunteering which continues to this day.

Keith Paul Moret, 56, from Whalley Range, has been an avid events volunteer since the Games. He said: “I would recommend volunteering to anyone. You get a wonderful sense that you are really part of the experience. Without volunteers these big events couldn’t work and we showed the world we can hold world class events in Manchester.

"Since 2002 I’ve put in 4,000 hours as a volunteer on all sorts of events – I’ve even been to Abu Dhabi with my volunteering – so whatever you are interested in, there is an event to volunteer at. Whatever you put in, you will get so much in return.”

The second annual Manchester Day Parade will start at 2pm and finish on Liverpool Road after proceeding along Deansgate, Cross Street, Albert Square and Peter Street


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