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30 Apr 2004
IOC News

ATHENS 2004: A Record Number of Applications for the Olympic Volunteer Programme

Over 160,000 applications have been received by the ATHENS 2004 volunteer programme, which ends today. This compares with 75,665 for Sydney and 78,000 for Atlanta.

Wide range of backgrounds
Of the candidate volunteers, 55% are women and 45% men, while 78% are less than 35 years old. The candidates’ level of education is also worth noting: 41% have completed a course of higher education, university education, or postgraduate education. One in three claim previous volunteer experience (33.6%), while as many as one in four claim previous experience with people with a disability (25.6%). When asked how long they want to serve as volunteers, 69.5% reply “for more than two weeks”.

Worldwide interest
Applications from Greece reached 65%, while 35% of applications came from abroad, including 9.5% from the Greek Diaspora. The three countries from which the most applications have been received are the USA (6.3%), Spain (4.4%) and Germany (3.3%).

Selection procedure and training
Now that the volunteer recruitment stage is finished, ATHENS 2004 will proceed to the selection and incorporation of volunteers into specific positions. As part of the selection procedure, there have been over 88,000 personal interviews so far. The finalising of volunteer selection and offering of positions began in December 2003, with an official written proposal by ATHENS 2004. Over 30,000 volunteers have been selected into their final positions and the procedure is continuing intensively.

Volunteers accepting proposals from ATHENS 2004 will be asked to participate in training programmes designed for the Games, while providing a broader base of knowledge and experience likely to bear fruit in the post-Olympic period. This training stage is still in progress. Sectors with special needs or employing large numbers of volunteer staff (e.g. Technology, Spectator Services, International Relations, Olympic Family Transport, Ceremonies) have already started a graded programme of training and information sessions for their volunteers.

Many volunteers already tried and tested
A significant number of ATHENS 2004 volunteers have already been tried out and trained at the 38 Sport Events organised so far. The volunteers who served at the Sport Events – 5,081 of them overall – took part in the full procedures of training, accreditation, management, and recognition in an Olympic environment and they are already an experienced and well-bonded team.

Official website of Athens 2004
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