(Photo: © BOCOG)

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.

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.

Source: IOC / BOCOG