Dorney’s man with a megaphone

It’s not just the racing commentators who are in danger of losing their voice at Eton Dorney. Fada Abiah, a 24-year-old student from Nigeria, is one of the friendliest voices welcoming visitors as they approach the rowing venue.

Sitting on a high chair, megaphone in hand, it’s Fada’s task to greet the thousands of crowds progessing past him each morning.

“Initially I didn’t like it,” he said, clasping a packet of orange throat pastilles. “I was a bit nervous on the first day but now I love it, I really do. It’s fantastic. I see so many happy faces around.

“I just really hope everyone enjoys themselves. When they arrive I tell them they will enjoy themselves and then when they come back I try to find out if they have!”

A Banking and Finance postgraduate at Reading University, Fada applied for his role with security firm, Broadbase, because it’s a “chance to be part of a lifetime event”. “Sometimes I pretend I don’t know how to speak English, so I’ll say, ‘Me, not English, I’m French – bonjour ladies and gentlemen!’ Or sometimes I say ‘Go GB!’

“I thank people for coming and thank them for thanking me – many people find that funny!”

Look out for Fada if you are visiting Eton Dorney and give him a wave! He plans to be there every day – that’s if his voice holds out.

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