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Up for a Challenge? Go Volunteer!

With the World Cup 2014 dominating much of our summertime, I can’t help but to reminisce about volunteering at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Auditions began in 2011, and thousands were eager to take part in a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the United Kingdom.

After acting, dancing and singing at the auditions an official email confirmed my participation in January 2012. To my surprise I was chosen to be a drummer! I had never before in my life played the drums. I realized I was in for a challenge when I found that 80% out of 1,000 Olympic drummers were in fact actual drummers from all over the United Kingdom and had some band experience to boot.

Leaving Your Comfort Zone

Rehearsals began May 2012. A rigorous schedule based on evenings and weekends of anti-social hours right up to the eve of the Opening Ceremony July 27th, 2012. Film Director Danny Boyle planned for drummers to come down the stairs to the playing field in alignment, drumming to the beat of Underworld’s tailor-made rhythm for our industrial revolution segment. To add to the excitement, I, a novice drummer, was placed third in line. Lucky for me, I descended impeccably to centre stage without tripping over my Victorian era costume worn for the first part of my performance!

My second performance consisted of more than an hour of non-stop drumming for the World Athletes parade. Both the Argentinian and Italian delegations stood behind me, taking tons of pictures and some videos while I was drumming. I answered all their questions as luckily enough I speak the lingo! Following the big day, more rehearsals took place behind screens, this time for the closing ceremony on August 12th.

Volunteering as Personal Development

Like many global cities, London offers many opportunities for personal development via volunteering especially for expats or graduates aiming to enrich their resume, for example at NGOs, world events, community based-projects, as office support etc. Though unpaid roles, the wealth of knowledge and skills gained and multicultural engagement makes it all worthwhile.

Personally, for me this was neither first nor last time volunteering in various platforms. Almost two years after the Olympics, many captured memories and I still fit in my customs which won’t be on e-bay! After all, I positively accepted the challenge to be a drummer, did go with it and made it.

Let’s be good sports in life. To live opting to ‘’exit’’ whenever a situation rocks our boat and writing off a challenge means living wondering ‘’what if’’. Face what comes your way; don’t sweep it under the rug, instead seize the opportunity for a breakthrough! Give it your best shot!

Apart from being one of the InterNations Ambassador in our London Community, Rosa Cisneros is visionary, business savvy, a creative talent, and a peace advocate.

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