Beijing 2008: Volunteer recruitment goes international
With less than 500 days before the opening of the first Olympic Games in China, the volunteer recruitment process for the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games has gone international. This means that the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) and the Beijing Olympic Games Volunteer Work Coordination Group have launched the recruitment drive for Olympic and Paralympic volunteers from outside the Chinese mainland.
As of today, applicants can apply to be volunteers through the various websites set up for this purpose: www.hab.gov.hk (for Hong Kong residents); www.sport.gov.mo (for residents of Macao); www.bjtx.org (for applicants from Chinese Taipei); www.bjqb.gov.cn (for overseas Chinese); and www.ebeijing.gov.cn (for applicants from outside the aforementioned groups). Applications must be submitted before the end of March 2008. The recruitment process will be concluded in May 2008. Recruitment for volunteers from Beijing started on 28 August 2006, with recruitment of volunteers from areas outside the capital starting on 19 January 2007.
The Beijing Olympic volunteer programme includes one main campaign theme “Smiling Beijing” and six working projects, which are: Towards the Olympics’ Voluntary Service Project, the BOCOG Pre-Games Volunteer Project, the Games-time Volunteer Project, the City Volunteer Project, the Social Volunteer Project and the Olympic Volunteer Work Legacy Transformation Project.
An incredible attraction
While BOCOG expects 100,000 Games-time volunteers - about 70,000 for the Olympic Games and another 30,000 for the Paralympic Games - to date, over 410,000 applications have been received. Next June, BOCOG will also start recruiting more than 400,000 city volunteers who will provide information, translation, first-aid and other services at 2,000 urban service stations around the competition venues and key areas of Beijing, including transportation hubs, commercial networks, scenic spots, medical facilities, hotels and cultural centres. A large number of social volunteers in Beijing will also serve in urban communities and in the “Smiling Beijing” theme campaign. Final applications should be submitted by March 2008.
Pre-Games volunteers recruited
On 26 March, 96 pre-Games volunteers were recruited. The recruitment, the first of its kind, was launched on 14 March and has elicited an enthusiastic response from university students, on-the-job staff, retired people and even foreigners. Over 540 written applications and more than 500 telephone calls were received. The enrolled people have gone through a series of interviews and, after a training course, they will be assigned for three months to a part-time or full-time voluntary post at one of 21 departments in BOCOG, including areas such as international relations, technology, culture and communications, as well as opening and closing ceremonies.
The Games of the XXIX Olympiad – Beijing 2008 will take place from 8 August 2008 until 24 August 2008. The Games in Beijing will play host to the 28 summer sports currently on the Olympic programme. Approximately 10,500 athletes are expected to participate in the Games, with around 20,000 accredited media bringing the Games to the world.
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