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Foreign support for Games

india Updated: Aug 27, 2009 00:57 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
Moushumi Das Gupta
Hindustan Times
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Volunteering during the 2010 Commonwealth Games will be a cosmopolitan affair.
The 30,000-strong batch of volunteers will include 100 international volunteers from countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

They will offer their services to foreign visitors during the Games.

The desi support will include college and university students, NCC cadets and locals.
The Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) has reportedly been flooded with requests from foreigners keen to help run the Games — one of the biggest sporting events in the world. The committee, in turn, is equally keen to rope them in.

“It’s a win-win situation. The foreign volunteers get a chance to see our country up close and personal while we get to showcase our culture to them,” said Suresh Kalmadi, chairman, Organising Committee.

“Once they return to their country they will act as India's cultural ambassadors.”

Recruiting international volunteers for mega sporting events is not a new trend. China roped in volunteers from countries like Germany, France, Italy and Senegal during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“We have received requests from the University of Leeds in the UK and individuals from Australia and New Zealand. We will recruit about 100 international volunteers,” Kalmadi said.

With just 403 days left for the Games, the committee has finally started the process of recruiting volunteers. The committee along with Delhi government is giving finishing touches to the training programme. It has already invited request for proposal from international training organisations.

“The training will start from January next year. The volunteers will be trained in hospitality, informed about Delhi and India's heritage, and about the history of the Games,” Rina Ray, Managing Director, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, said.