From Gold City to the Gold Coast

11th October 2017 10:10 AM
BIG JOB: Soon to be Commonwealth Games volunteer Breeann O'Donnell is looking forward to the exciting challenge. BIG JOB: Soon to be Commonwealth Games volunteer Breeann O'Donnell is looking forward to the exciting challenge. Jacob Carson

GYMPIE teen Breeann O'Donnell is no stranger to putting her hand up and volunteering her time for a worthy cause.

The community-minded local is a regular fixture at events around town, but recent news is going to take her to the world stage.

"I'll be volunteering as a team member for the Australian squash team at the Commonwealth Games,” she said.

Heading down to the Gold Coast for 11 days, Miss O'Donnell, 17, will be assisting the team in whatever role necessary.

"I'll be helping team officials, helping the team get to the right court on time - if the ball shoots out of the court I'll go get it - that kind of stuff.”

It's a big deal for Miss O'Donnell, who now has to navigate the way through the inner workings of the massive event.

That she was even selected to be part of the team was enough of a shock.

"I got an email basically saying I was nominated, but I would have signed up anyway just because of the opportunity,” she said.

Although unsure at the time, she said it was probably because of her connection to Girl Guides Australia that she was given the chance.

"We're obviously so proud, she does so much for the community,” Breeann's mother Dana said. "And it's nice to see her recognised for the work that she does.”

Both mother and daughter are also keenly aware of the considerable weight the 2018 Commonwealth Games would have on a resume or CV.

"Yeah, there's the chance that it could lead to a whole lot of different opportunities for me, which is exciting to think about,” Miss O'Donnell said.

What comes next is still unknown for the young volunteers, beyond some fairly mysterious training sessions ahead of the main event in April of next year.

Miss O'Donnell said the sessions would be a mixture of in-person orientations and online modules.

"It's such a huge event and they need to make sure everybody knows exactly what they're supposed to be doing,” she said. "And with so many staff and volunteers it's going to be a lot of work to get it done.”

In the meantime, Miss O'Donnell is looking forward to the adventure, keenly aware that millions of eyes could be watching on screens around the world.

"I'm looking forward to meeting new people, to be able to meet the athletes will be a big thing for me,” she said. "It's nerves and excitement and everything - it does freak me out, but I've got to let that slide and get the job done.”

The Commonwealth Games run from April 4-15.