1,800 Volunteers Sought for Olympic Equestrian Events

Around 1,800 volunteers are needed for the equestrian events at the 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Hong Kong, as well for test events to be held next year.

Those interested in applying to become a volunteer can now register at www.equestrian2008.org.  

Chief Executive Officer of the Equestrian Company, Lam Woon-kwong stated at a press conference Nov. 23 that the volunteer program was designed to encourage the community's participation in the equestrian events.

This will be the first time that the Olympic and Paralympic Games would be held on Chinese soil, Lam noted. The Olympic Equestrian Events will be held in Sha Tin and Sheung Shui, while the Paralympics will be held in Sha Tin.

The role of the volunteers is to complement the work of the full- and part-time staff. Their primary duties are to assist athletes, working staff, spectators, guests, and other visitors.

Lam said the volunteers would undergo training, which would include residential, weekend, and evening training, as well as on-site practice.

Applicants can be persons of all nationalities who have the right to enter and stay in Hong Kong during the training and service periods.

Residential training would be done over long holidays, so as not to disrupt the volunteers' normal work.

While recruitment would be done in stages, Lam said the first 90 to 100 volunteers would be trained as leaders, to assist in the training of later volunteers. Proficiency in Cantonese, Putonghua, and English is a prerequisite for these "trainer Volunteers." Other preferences are strong IT skills, substantial professional working experience, and the commitment to serve in the next 20 months.

Volunteers are expected to serve from April next year until September 2008, when the Paralympics are over. The volunteerswill be required to work at competition venues, training venues, and non-competition venues.

Volunteers will not be paid, but will be provided with insurance cover, uniforms, meals, and transportation during the service.

Deadline for application for the first batch is end-December 2006, with the results to be announced in January 2007. Online application is available via the Equestrian Company's web site www.equestrian2008.org. A publicity leaflet and application form is available at the Home Affairs Department's Public Enquiry Counters. They are also available for collection at the Main Hall on the ground floor of Bank of China Tower, 1 Garden Road, Central.

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