It’s simply called, “The Arnold”. Started in 1989 this festival is the a prestigious step in bodybuilding and many other sports. The events bring thousands to Columbus. They are assisted by a volunteer medical team that has gained much respect. All communications for the team are handled by amateur radio volunteers! Several in DELARA have participated, and your chance to participate is still available.
What’s it really like?
I just want to take a moment and describe what Ham operators and expect when they arrive at the Arnold Sports Festival.When you first arrive you check in you get your t-shirt, armband and hang tag. If you are hungry, there's always breakfast food and coffee/juice in the back of the room as well as snacks and drinks thru out the day. Lunch is served and if you are out at a venue they will take a lunch order (think box lunches) and deliver it. After you are ready to join a Med Team you simply wait in the main room and be ready to go. All communications goes thru you. You tell the Net Controller you are on site and give the numbers of your team. Everyone has a number on their hang tag...it's much more efficient then using names. If your team needs something or you have an emergency calmly and slowing advise Net Control of your situation. In an emergency the net belongs to you until you release it or there is another emergency. Normal on station time is roughly 2~4 hours, depending on a lot of factors, until you are relived/replaced. Between assignments you can wander all over the place. You are encouraged to use the back hallways to get familiar with their layout. Your hang tag gets you into 98% of the building so it's a good idea to walk around because you never know when you need to circumvent the crowd to get someplace. And you always want to circumvent the crowd anyway because it would take you forever to go someplace. But don't worry...Boy Scouts are dispatched with the Med Teams and their job it to get you to where ever you need to be in the shortest amount of time...and they are very very good at it.I always wear a long sleeved t shirt under my t-shirt because some venues can get a little chilly. A 440 HT is needed and an extra battery is a good idea. And bring a charger. They have a charging rack so you can use one battery and charge a depleted one. Or just charge the one you are using if you only have one. Just be sure to put your name/call sign on your equipment to tell which stuff is yours. I could go on and on but lets just say if you have any questions please ask...if I don't know I promise not to make something up but I'll get the answer for you. Wally Kenyon W8WLKP.S.It's OK to have a case of nerves the first time. I remember the first time one of our group went to the Arnold, he got onsite and promptly had to deal with several emergencies at once...and he owned it like a pro.