The countdown to the Grande Partenza of the Giro d’Italia is well and truly on hence various parts of Northern Ireland turning pink – everything from buildings and shop fronts to sheep and horses in county Antrim. Purple Rain has even gone pink with owner, Rebecca McConnell, volunteering in the media centre.
Today, clad with pink painted nails, I headed for The Waterfront Hall, the HQ for the Giro’s event management company, RCS sports.
Here, I was assigned to help out at ‘Accrediti Stampa’ aka the press accreditation area. Press from all over the world arrived as the rain fell on the streets of Belfast. No matter how well we plan to make visitors feel welcome, or how pink City Hall gets painted, we can never guarantee the best weather, no matter who is coming to town!
The reporters, or stampas, asked to speak with Matteo, the Giro’s main press officer, whilst the fotografos requested the red vests to get them the best access for photographs along the route and for the winners presentation. Over 1,000 media registered with RCS for the duration for the Giro. Working in the PR field, that’s an incredible amount of press to manage, communicate with and respond to their various requests. As a Wimbledon fan, wondering what the press area is like for tennis’s most famous tournament, I marvelled at the fact that the Giro is on the road all the time thus adding to the logistical nightmare it must be to manage not just the press but all the other aspects of a professional sporting competition.
Thankfully, by the time the afternoons main press conference started, the sun had come out to greet the international press as they assembled with the Giro’s golden trophy. This was my first big presser as the hacks tend to call them. There where plenty of TV cameras as well as still photographers, and an interpreter to translate the media’s questions and the cyclist’s answers. Matteo was on hand to keep things running smoothly.
It is fantastic Northern Ireland is hosting the Giro big start, putting our small country on the global map. Do plan to watch the event, using public transport where possible, and be part of the #girostart14.
My next shift is Friday so I’m off to polish my Italian. Ciao!
This article was written by purplerain