AN ALLOA man was only too happy to swap the cold snap for the sunny Gold Coast when he went Down Under to volunteer at the 2018 Commonwealth Games last month.

The Wee County’s George Barr came home with a tan and a bag of tales after taking on a “field of play” role, marking the scores at lawn bowls matches at the official venue, Broadbeach Bowls Club.

He was kept busy with two matches a day and got to be part of the massive machine behind the event as one of the many 'games shapers'.

The Motherwell native, who has lived in Alloa for around three decades now, also enjoyed giving information to competitors at the athletes’ village, making sure everyone got to the right venue on time.

George saw it all from the stands going up ahead of the sporting events to the closing ceremony and is already eyeing up the 2022 Birmingham Games.

“It was a great experience”, said George, who is district secretary for Bowls Scotland in the area.

He was also involved at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and that was probably going in his favour when he applied to be one of 15,000 volunteers.

George said: “It was amazing.

“Everywhere you went, you bumped into someone with one of these yellow jerseys on.

“It was extremely interesting. I actually bumped into a lad who was doing pastoral care in the village – it didn’t matter what religion but they had set up this pastoral place, whether they be Islamic, Christian or whatever.

“The Commonwealth is such a vast place.”

Some of the highlights included the days when Scotland collected medals with George adding: “We were really chuffed.”

He was also at the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony, musing: “That was supposedly a perk!”

It was an opportunity, too, to catch up with some familiar faces from the Glasgow Games and the bowling scene in general.

And George went early to tour the place as well – it was many birds with the one stone as he also had the chance to visit son Neil and his family in Brisbane, which was just an hour away on the train from Gold Coast.

He went through Las Vegas on the way to Australia as well and went down the famous zip line above Fermont Street.

When asked whether he would do it again, George told the Advertiser: “Without question. I might apply for Birmingham!”