And they’re off! Commuters across Scotland were urged to aim for a new ‘personal best’ today (Monday, 14 January) – by applying to be one of the volunteers who will be the friendly faces making the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games an amazing experience for athletes and spectators alike.
To celebrate the launch of the Glasgow 2014 volunteer application programme the city’s Central Station took on a sports carnival atmosphere with Olympic boxing Gold medallist – and the winner of BBC TV’s Superstars - Anthony Joshua, and Scotland’s Olympic and Commonwealth badminton star Susan Egelstaff joining members of the Games Maker Choir to lend their voices to the drive to recruit up to 15,000 of the friendliest people for the Games.
Prospective volunteers have from today until 28 February to apply for a Games role which will not only see them be part of history – Glasgow 2014’s volunteers will be the biggest peace-time deployment of volunteers for a common cause Scotland has ever seen – but will also see them having the time for their lives.
No previous Games experience is necessary: Glasgow 2014 is simply looking for helpful and friendly people who will be aged 16 by close of applications on 28 February are eligible to work in the UK and available for at least eight days during the Games, which take place between 23 July and 3 August, 2014. Volunteers will also have to be available for up to six days ahead of the Games for interviews in Glasgow, training and uniform collection.
As well as general Games roles, Glasgow 2014 requires volunteers with a range of specialist skills including medical staff, drivers and people with specific sports expertise.
Applications are being received from this morning online at www.glasgow2014.com/volunteer and help is available in person at the Volunteer Centre in Glasgow, by phone at the Glasgow 2014 Contact Centre and staff at every library in Scotland are also geared up to assist with the application process.
Urging people to step up to the volunteer challenge, Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chairman of Glasgow 2014 said:
“Being a Glasgow 2014 volunteer really is the opportunity to have the time of your life and be part of something very special for Glasgow and Scotland.
“Our volunteers will be crucial to the success of the Games. They will be our front-line charm force, promoting Glasgow and Scotland to the world and creating a fantastic experience not just for the million spectators who will be here in person but also the billion-plus people around the world who will watch the Games on television. Glasgow 2014 is a global show-reel for the city and for Scotland and our volunteers have a starring role to play.
“I would encourage everyone – regardless of age or life experience – to think about being part of creating a Games success story for Glasgow and Scotland and apply now as a Glasgow 2014 volunteer.”
Just last week a £500k funding programme to help people who want to volunteer for the Games was launched by the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) and the Scottish Government.
Recognising that not everyone can afford to do this, the Legacy 2014 Volunteer Support Programme will offer financial assistance to help those people facing practical and financial barriers which might otherwise stop them from volunteering.
Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said:
“Volunteers will be the life blood of the Games, helping to create the atmosphere, energy and enthusiasm that drives success. From presidents, to spectators, to athletes, our volunteers will welcome people from all over the world to Glasgow and to Scotland.
“If you’ve got a new year’s resolution to try new things and help other people – why not sign up to volunteer at the Commonwealth Games next year. It’s a real opportunity to be part of history.”
Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council, said:
“The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be a fantastic and memorable event, but to make this happen we will need volunteers to help deliver its many different aspects. Being a volunteer at the Games is a wonderful opportunity to be closely involved in something that will not come back to the city and country in many of our lifetimes, and will use and develop the skills of so many of us from all kinds of backgrounds. There has already been tremendous interest– some of it inspired by the phenomenal impact of the volunteers at the London 2012 Olympic Games - and now is the time for everyone considering giving their time next summer to contact Glasgow 2014.”
Fiona McEwan, Vice-Chair Commonwealth Games Scotland, said:
“For the participating teams the volunteers are critical to the quality of every part of their Games experience. From the technical officials who ensure that the sport competitions are run smoothly, to the drivers who help athletes and officials get seamlessly around the city, to the people welcoming athletes into the dining room, a friendly and flexible attitude turns a good Games into a great and memorable Games.
“Scots are naturally very friendly and hospitable to international guests and we would urge people across the county to consider volunteering for the Games and sharing in the fantastic experience that Glasgow 2014 will offer people from all walks of life.”
Olympic Gold Medallist, Super heavy weight boxer, Anthony Joshua, knows from experience how crucial the role of the volunteers is. He said:
“Volunteers are at the heart of any major Games. From an athlete’s perspective, they’re the friendly faces you see around the village and around the competition venues, enjoying themselves and being a part of something special.
“We’ve seen recently the positive impact volunteers had on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and I’m sure that enthusiasm will roll over into another exciting home Games in Glasgow in 2014.”
Double Commonwealth medallist and London 2012 Olympian, Badminton player Susan Egelstaff said:
“Being a proud Glaswegian I’m well aware of the friendly and welcoming nature this city is famous for. Volunteers have played a crucial role at major sporting events throughout my career and allowed me to prepare as best I can and focus solely on the sporting side of things.
“Glasgow 2014 will be the biggest sporting event Scotland has ever hosted and with the help of thousands of volunteers, I’m confident it will be a Games to remember.”
In addition to the event at Glasgow Central awareness raising activity was also taking place at Glasgow Queen Street Station, Buchanan Street Bus Station, Edinburgh Waverley and Dundee stations.
Note to Editors
1. The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the 20th Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of up to 15,000 local volunteers. Glasgow 2014 Ltd is the official name for the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the Games in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.
2. Glasgow 2014 family of official sponsors is Longines, SSE, Emirates, Harper Macleod, Search Consultancy, Ernst & Young, Atos, Dell, Toshiba TEC, A.G. Barr, NVT Group and RGS.
3. From their base in Scotland, International IT Services Company and Worldwide IT Partner for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Atos is providing the Games Management Systems (GMS) and Games Information Systems (GIS) for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. This includes the now open online portal which, using Atos’ technology, will handle thousands of applications for up to 15,000 volunteer roles as well as supporting the Glasgow 2014 recruitment and selection process.
4. A contact centre is available to provide advice and support to volunteers and potential volunteers through their involvement with Glasgow 2014 by telephone and email – 030 3333 2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The OC have also created a drop-in Volunteer Centre in Glasgow where potential volunteers can drop in for advice and assistance.
5. Scotland’s 541 libraries are also geared up to help support people without computer access to fill in application forms.