IN THE THICK OF IT: Jess Hayes with Commonwealth Games mascot Borobi at the Gold Coast.
IN THE THICK OF IT: Jess Hayes with Commonwealth Games mascot Borobi at the Gold Coast. Contributed

Hunger for the Games

PLENTY of us have been glued to our televisions as the Commonwealth Games has enthralled the nation.

On the ground, several Stanthorpe locals have been in the thick of the action, working as volunteers for the sporting spectacle.

The Hayes family have enjoyed two bites at Games involvement, with 18-year-old Jess Hayes following in Dad, Mike's footsteps.

Mike was one of three Stanthorpe locals to carry the Queen's baton in the build-up to the Games starting.

But daughter Jess, has been spending her days in and around the swimming and diving as one of thousands of volunteers.

"I'm part of the spectator services, which is pretty much there to make sure people have the best experience they can at the Games.

"That involves getting them in and getting them out, general inquiries and help.

'My team has been awesome. We get on so well and the management and supervisors are just absolutely amazing.”

Having only just relocated to the Gold Coast from Stanthorpe, Jess jumped at the chance to get among the action.

"I was watching TV and saw an ad for it and thought 'may as well just apply'.

"You then fill out an application with a little about yourself and the areas you are interested in.

"But I only found out about three weeks ago and I had my interview about October last year.

"I thought that because I was moving up there for university anyway... I'm up there, it's not going to be hard to get to it or anything like that and it's not something we're going to get an opportunity to experience again for a long time to come.

"It's something different; I've never done anything similar to this before and I'm really glad I have because the opportunity has been absolutely incredible,” she said. Jess was lucky enough to be in the stands Tuesday night as our Aussie swimmers blitzed their competition in the medley relays.

Once she's done with the swimming, she'll be over at the Rugby Sevens.

"The atmosphere... I never would have imagined it'd be as crazy as it has. I'm so glad I've done it,” Jess said.