Saturday, October 27, 2007

Training Day

I spent six hours down at UIC today, as a volunteer for the World Boxing Championships. I was stationed at the training center. Several teams came through, including England, Belarus, Italy, Korea, Japan, the Ukraine and China.

Some of the women who were there kept going on about how nice the team from Ireland was. They had volunteered the previous weekend, and said that the guys on that team were very sweet. I wanted to meet them, but they didn't come to the training center today.

There were tales of rude behavior from some of the teams. One woman said she was told to "shut up" by a boxer from Turkey. That team wanted to have access to a VIP area at the Palmer House Hotel, and were denied. There were also stories of the women being ignored when they were attempting to help the athletes. Unfortunately, that behavior from foreign men who come from countries where women aren't empowered, is common. They just can't stand having to deal with women who have authority. Fortunately, I neither witnessed or experienced any of that crap today.

The training center had several rings set up for the boxers to use. The teams were allowed one hour in the ring, and George was tough about getting them out on time. George is the coach over at Garfield Park, and he was in charge of running the rings there. Percy, whom I met at the Golden Gloves earlier this year, was also helping out.

The volunteers helped keep the rings clean, passed out towels, alerted teams when the shuttle buses were coming and going, and helped the boxers find their way around the building. At one point, I showed one of the British boxers where the washrooms were. It was somewhat like going through a maze to find the toilets in the lower level of the building.

After my shift was over, I took the shuttle back to the Palmer House. Volunteers were allowed to do this as long as they showed their credentials, or IDs. I enjoyed my volunteer time today. Now I wish I had signed up for more shifts. However, they need people during the day, and my job prevents me from being there.

Tomorrow, there are plans to see the bouts as spectators. Last night, Steve said that G is going to have tickets for those who want to go. I forgot that I told Ron, the church organist, that we could type up (well, I'm the one doing the typing) the program for the cabaret show we're doing in early November. We have to go to my office, since my laptop at home doesn't have Microsoft Publisher on it. Hopefully, that won't take more than an hour, so I can make the fights. I'll have to call Steve later tonight to see what the plan is for meeting up with everybody.

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