Marathon man Eddie Izzard issues rallying call for 2012 Olympics volunteers

[from the London Evening Standard]

Comedian Eddie Izzard has fired the starting gun on the campaign to recruit 70,000 volunteers for the London Olympics in the UK’s biggest peacetime mobilisation of a workforce.

Izzard, renowned for his marathon exploits, issued a rallying call as the invitation to apply to assist the Olympic effort opens tomorrow.

Games organisers anticipate a flood of applications over the next six weeks and have warned the public stand only a one in 10 chance of becoming one of the “Games Makers”.

The variety of positions include joining a small team of costume designers for the opening ceremony; writing for the athletes’ village daily newspaper; working as a blood collection officer in the anti-doping team or joining the 10,000-strong ticket checkers and marshals at sports venues.

Games organisers, Locog, chose Izzard — who last year ran 43 consecutive marathons for charity Sport Relief — to make the point that potential volunteers will have to be able to go the distance. Locog know from previous Olympic host cities that minimising the number of drop-outs is key to a successful volunteer programme.

In a recruitment video, Izzard said: “We need volunteers: team players, those people willing to push themselves as far as they can to get their work done. Whatever role you are allocated, everything you do will be to help make the Games one of the most amazing experiences of people’s lives. Imagine being able to tell your grandkids that you were part of the London 2012 Games!”

Bob skeleton gold medallist Amy Williams and former Olympic triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards will launch the recruitment drive tomorrow.

Already Locog are sifting applications for 2,000 helpers in medical roles. Volunteers must be 18 or over with the exception of just 1,500 under-18s who will be recruited at a later stage. Applicants will be asked to specify skills.

How do I volunteer to become a “Games Maker”?
The application form is available online from 8am tomorrow at The deadline is midnight on October 27.

What does it involve?
You will have to agree to a minimum of 10 days at the Olympics or Paralympics, or a minimum of 20 days to do both. A day’s work will last eight hours, unpaid. You will also have to be available for three training sessions, totalling 15 hours.

What will I get?
An official Games Maker uniform to keep, meal vouchers and free public transport in London.

Is it first come first served?
No. Applications will not be reviewed until deadline has passed. You can opt for three preferred areas to work but these cannot be guaranteed. There is about a one in 10 chance of becoming a Games Maker.

Isn’t there another volunteer scheme being run by City Hall?
Yes, applications are invited now for the 8,000 “London Ambassadors” to work as city guides at airports, stations and tourist hotspots in the summer of 2012.

Written by Momo in: News |

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