Crow Country man playes part in Commonwealth Games

A MAN from Crow Country is at the heart of the preparations for October’s commonwealth games in Delhi, which have been surrounded by controversy before an event has been contested.

Paul Neaum, originally from Heydon, is the protocol consultant and chartist for the games, and has the primary duty of organising the athlete parade, which takes place on October 3.

Mr Neaum, who was educated at Buntingford’s Freman College, said: “I plan the routes of the VIPs, the flags and the athletes in the athlete parade. I also help chart the choreographic movement on the field of play during the opening parade.

“I am in charge of marching 4000 people into the stadium and sitting them down. Basically, all the non-artistic stuff that has to be done in an event like this is my responsibility.”

A storm has surrounded the games over the past two weeks, with fears over the quality of the facilities after a bridge collapsed, bad weather, and sanitation leading to some athletes withdrawing.

Mr Neaum, who has also worked as a TV presenter and voiceover artitst, has witnessed the problems first hand, and said: “The constant rain has halted many rehearsals and meant that many of the technical things involved in the ceremony are way behind schedule.

“Also, there are six of us sharing a flat and now three have dengue fever, which is obviously making things hard.”

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“My wife Claire, who is working here as a show-caller for the opening ceremony, is one of those affected by dengue fever, but has recovered now.”

Despite the problems the games have encountered so far, Mr Neaum is still very much looking forward to them, and urged anyone who is thinking about it to be involved at London 2012.

“Being part of the ceremony is a great experience. Working with thousands of volunteers, dancers and musicians is fantastic and the atmosphere on the day is incredible.

“I would thoroughly recommend anyone who gets a chance to take part in the opening ceremony in London 2012 to do it. It is an experience you will never forget.”