MANAGING an Olympic sports venue is the dream job of a former Apollo Bay woman.
Kathryn Rowarth, daughter of Jenny and Sammy Rowarth of Apollo Bay, is working as an arena manager in the table tennis venue at the London Olympics.
Ms Rowarth studied at Trinity College in Colac, before a sport management degree and then worked at her first event at the 2002 World Masters Games in Melbourne.
“I then caught the event bug and from there went on to the 2005 Melbourne Deaflympics, 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, 2006 Doha Asian Games, Australian Open 2008, Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games 2010, Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010,” she said.
“I now have achieved my goal of working on a summer Olympics in one of the greatest cities in the world.”
The 31-year-old has worked for the past 15 months on the Olympics, planning the indoor ExCeL arena, which houses judo, wrestling, fencing, taekwondo, boxing and weightlifting as well as the table tennis.
“I am one of the five arena managers and look after all of the operations in the table tennis arena, it has a capacity of 6000,” she said.
“Some that have been involved in Olympics over the last 20 years say ExCeL is probably the biggest venue in Olympic history.
“We will award a total of 82 gold medals, that has never been done before under one roof.”
Ms Rowarth said her job was demanding and meant she hadn’t managed to see any other sports at the games.
“I basically look after the operations of the arena and make sure everything runs on time and runs safely,” she said.
“My job requires me to be there constantly, so there’s not a lot of time to do much else.”
Ms Rowarth said table tennis was popular with royalty and software billionaires, with visits by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Prince Albert of Monaco.
“Bill Gates is also an avid table tennis fan and was here this week,” she said.
Ms Rowarth said she enjoyed having bragging rights over the British after Australia won a gold medal before the host country did.
“There is nothing like the Olympic Games when it comes to sport, the best athletes in the world at their peak competing for the ultimate prize, the passion they show is incredible,” she said.
“The other thing I love is how it brings a city alive.”
Ms Rowarth will return to Australia in October with fiancé Ben Emerson.