Tour de France volunteers told to mind their language

They’ve been recruited to offer a warm welcome to the visitors who will flock to Yorkshire for this summer’s Tour de France.

Saturday, 19th April 2014, 7:00 pm
Volunteers at Yorkshire's Grand Depart have been asked not to call visitors 'love'.

But the small army of volunteers acting as Tour Makers during the cycling event have also been told to mind their language.

For an online training tutorial prepared for the Tour Makers informs them that they should avoid calling visitors ‘love’.

And it’s not just that traditional Tyke term of endearment that’s off limits – they are also told to steer clear of addressing people as ‘mate’ and ‘darling’.

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The tutorial says: “Be confident and naturally friendly.

“Avoid using words such as ‘mate’, ‘love’ or ‘darling’ – they may sound friendly to you, but they could offend some people.”

One volunteer, who asked not to be named, said: “I must admit I was a bit surprised when I read the advice.

“I can see why it makes sense but it’s going to need a lot of concentration for every single one of us to stop calling people ‘love’.”

Asked about the advice, a spokesman for the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency said: “Yorkshire is quite rightly well known for its famous warm welcome and that won’t change.

“However, we don’t want volunteers to use language that may cause confusion for our overseas visitors!”

Almost 12,000 Tour Makers will be on hand to assist fans during the opening three stages of the high-profile race.

The first two sections take place in Yorkshire on July 5 and 6, with the third to follow between Cambridge and London on July 7.

The Tour Makers will be responsible for giving advice and directions to spectators as well as manning transport hubs and road crossings, in similar fashion to the Games Makers who played an important part in the huge success of the London 2012 Olympics.