Volunteers for the Olympic Games

The aim of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is to stage an inspirational and memorable Games, where everyone is invited, can take part and get involved in this exciting event.

Diversity was a key reason why London, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, was chosen to host the Games. And we want to ensure that this is reflected in the volunteers we recruit for the London 2012 Games.

Volunteers have always been an important part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. London 2012 will need  up to 70,000 fantastic, enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers to help make sure the Games run smoothly and successfully and be part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They want to attract, train and retain the best of the best volunteers in the UK – a team of passionate and dedicated individuals that reflects the best of modern UK.

Put simply, they want London 2012 to be everyone’s 2012.

LOCOG is committed to recruiting the most diverse and inclusive team possible – the organisation will be looking for volunteers from across the UK, from a diverse range of communities and backgrounds. London 2012 values and embraces diversity – be it age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and belief or sexual orientation.

Some Buddhists have already volunteered through the website but LOCOG hopes that more will offer their services. In addition to the Buddhist athletes and coaches, numbering up to 700, there will be Buddhist visitors to the Games. In a spirit of goodwill and to ease the strain on hotels, LOCOG would be grateful if members of the Buddhist communities, where possible Buddhist centres, could accommodate these guests. Volunteers(gamesmakers), may also require somewhere to stay. This is also a golden opportunity for the Network of Buddhist Organisations UK to involve not only its London members but also to encourage its membership nationwide to contribute to the success of the greatest event on the planet.

Bryan Appleyard

Buddhist representative to the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.


1. We want Games Makers from all walks of life and from across the UK

We want the Games to be open to everyone, and we will recruit volunteers from across the UK, from a diverse range of communities and backgrounds. We value and embrace diversity – be it age, disability, gender, ethnicity, religion and belief or sexual orientation.

2. We are looking for people who have the same values and passion as us

The fundamental qualities we are looking for are professionalism, passion, enthusiasm, energy and a readiness to push beyond your personal best to help us put on a truly memorable Games. We want Games Makers to share our values and be inspirational, open, respectful, team-focused, distinctive and have a can-do attitude.

3. You must be 18 or over on 1 January 2012 and have the right to volunteer in the UK Most of our roles require Games Makers to be 18 years old or over by 1 January 2012. However, we do want young people to get involved too! We will unveil the Young Games Maker programme for under 18s in summer 2011. Games Makers must also be eligible to volunteer in the UK in accordance with immigration rules.

4. You must volunteer for a minimum of 10 days during the Games and attend at least three days of training

Games Makers must be available for the duration of the Olympic Games (27 July-12 August 2012) or the Paralympic Games (29 August-9 September 2012).

You must be willing to volunteer for a minimum of 10 days at either the Olympic Games or the Paralympic Games; or for a minimum of 20 days if you want to volunteer at both.

Shifts will typically last eight to 10 hours and you will be given adequate rest days. Games Makers will also need to attend at least three training sessions prior to the Games.

5. You must find your own means of transport and accommodation

We are unable to provide accommodation for Games Makers, and will not reimburse travel costs to selection events, training or Test Events.

You will however be provided with free travel on public transport to and from your Games-time shifts. This will include travel within London zones 1-6 and between London and the following venues: Eton Dorney, Lee Valley White Water Centre and Hadleigh Farm, Essex.

We will also provide free transport to Games Makers with roles in Weymouth & Portland and the co-Host Cities (within defined boundaries) for the Football competition: Manchester, Coventry, Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow. We will not provide transport to these locations from elsewhere in the UK.

6. You are not entitled to free tickets or back stage passes

Neither staff nor volunteers are entitled to ‘access all area’ passes or freebies – there will be thousands of people working for the Games come summer 2012, and there would be no tickets for everyone else if we kept them all for ourselves!

7. Specialists and special interest groups are invited to apply from 27 July and generalists from 15 September 2010

The Games Maker programme is being launched in two phases. Online applications are now open for pre-identified applicants for specialist roles – for example doctors, nurses, sports specialists, doping control officers and press operations staff. Applications are also open for special interest

groups such as Personal Best graduates and members of a number of pre-identified disability organisations.

Online applications open to the public for generalist roles and continue for specialist roles on 15 September – so if you have the necessary skills or qualifications to fill a specialist role but weren’t pre-identified, you can apply now.

Don’t worry, we won’t review any applications – from generalists or specialists – until the deadline has passed, so those who apply in July will have no advantage over those who apply from 15 September.

8. You apply to be a Games Maker by completing an online application form

Applicants will need to register and then complete an online application form -this should take 30-40 minutes. You will then be given access to the Games Maker zone – a personalised portal. If your application is successful we will invite you to a selection event in 2011.

9. You can indicate where and how you would like to volunteer but this is not guaranteed

On the application form you can indicate the team (‘functional area’) and venue that you would like to volunteer in, but we can’t guarantee you’ll get your preferences. You will not be able to apply for a specific role.

10. We expect many applications and you have a one in 10 chance of getting a role We have experienced a huge amount of interest from potential volunteers and expect to receive around 10 applications for each role. We understand you may be disappointed if you are not selected as a Games Maker, but there are plenty of other ways to volunteer.

People interested in becoming a volunteer should look at the London 2012 website www.london2012.com/volunteering where they can find out more info on volunteering for London 2012.