If you’re a sports fanatic that fancies getting closer to the action that ever before then mark down the 28th of August in your calendar. This is the day that the much-anticipated Rio 2016 Volunteer Program finally opens its doors to applications, enabling anyone that meets the necessary pre-requisites an opportunity to take an active role in the next Olympic Games in Rio.
It’s an Olympic tradition that began as long ago as 1952 when just 2,000 volunteers were recruited to help with the running of the Games. Today it’s a very different affair with an estimated 70,000 volunteers required to successfully run the event in 2016.
Just a few of the estimated 500 different roles seeking volunteers include a variety of specialist medical roles, operation of the scoreboards, translation services and the control of access to restricted areas. So no matter what your level of experience or motivation for wanting to become an Olympic volunteer there are a range of options.
Not surprisingly though for such an ‘access all areas’ program, interest is expected to be high. As a result the application process to become a volunteer isn’t as simple as just putting your name down on a list. Instead, a selection process has been put in place to whittle down all the applicants to a list of finalists. Presently, if you apply to be a volunteer at the next Olympic Games you can expect to go through both an aptitude test and an interview before being offered a position.
There are other benefits that volunteers at the Rio Olympics can expect including fully-expensed meals and travel while on official duty as well as your own uniform. As applications are welcomed from around the world, online language courses are available free to volunteers if necessary and successful applicants will even receive a commemorative certificate as a souvenir of the event and thanks for your effort.
At present the program is open to anyone aged over 18 with a reasonable level of education. Sadly though, this once-in-a-lifetime experience may be out of reach for many people due to the time required to go through the application and training process before actually taking an active role at the Games. Additionally you’ll need to fund your own travel to and from Rio as well as finding, and paying for, your own accommodation.