London 2012: Q. You see two men holding hands. Do you: a) Panic...

Training scheme for Olympics volunteers about how not to insult visitors to the Games is branded insulting

You're at the Olympic stadium, volunteering at the London Games. Someone complains to you that two men are holding hands. It is making them feel very uncomfortable. What do you do?

Mercifully, the organisers of London 2012 have been considering such questions. The 70,000 volunteers who will work at the Olympics venues this summer have received training on how to deal with this and other such delicate matters as gender, race and disability, in a "diversity and inclusion quiz", which many have branded "pointless", "patronising" and "insulting".

With regard to same-gender handholding, the correct answer, reassuringly, is neither "politely ask the couple to stop holding hands" or "call the person a homophobic idiot". Rather, one should "explain that there is huge diversity of people at the London 2012 Games, which includes gay, lesbian and bisexual couples".

Olympic volunteers, known as "gamesmakers", were given the questions to answer at training sessions that have been taking place in recent weeks at Wembley Arena.

Other questions include how to direct someone to the toilets if you can't tell what gender they are. Answer: direct them to both male and female – and the disabled one too – just to be on the safe side.

"We went in and they told us how lucky we were to be there. How the Games were all about us. There were practically fireworks going off," said one gamesmaker, from Essex. "Then we're doing a questionnaire on how to talk to disabled people. It was a bit silly."

"There's quite a lot to learn," said another attendee, who will be working at the press centre at the Velodrome come July. "But I think I already knew not to call a hijab a scarf."

Others said they had found the whole thing so funny that they got the questions wrong on purpose. Games organisers said the quiz was not primarily to educate people in how to approach diversity, but rather to see how volunteers would respond to such situations.

A spokesman for London 2012 said: "There are many different roles involved and the role plays were to assist volunteers and give them an outline of the whole of the London 2012 event."

What would you do? The questionnaire


Q. You are chatting to a fellow gamesmaker at the security line. They point out a woman in front of you who is wearing a scarf on her head and remark: "Surely she won't be allowed to wear that in the venue!" What do you say?

a) Ignore the comment and change the subject.

b) Point out that the woman is wearing a hijab, which is a form of Muslim headwear some women choose to wear as part of their faith.

c) Wait until your first shift with the colleague wearing the headscarf and raise your issue in front of them and your fellow team members.

Gender/Gender Identity

Q. A spectator approaches you asking politely where the nearest toilets are. You are not sure if the spectator is male or female. What do you do?

a) Panic – you are not qualified to make this decision. Explain politely that you do not know.

b) Just in case, tell them where the male, female and accessible toilets are.

c) Ask the spectator politely if they are male or female, so that you can direct them appropriately.

Answers: 1)b, 2)b

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas