The Organising Committee Delhi Commonwealth Games is pulling out all stops to ensure the Games attract enormous interest, not only in the country but also around the world. On Tuesday, the OC signed an exclusive agreement with Sheffield Hallam University for 30 student volunteers to work at the Games in the Press Operations Functional Area.
The students will be selected from the university's media and journalism courses and will be a part of the pool of 30,000 volunteers roped in for the Games. Professor Michael Smith, pro vice-chancellor, said that the selection process hadn't started yet. "We'll work out a programme for the selection after going back. We might start next week," he said.
Smith said that the selection criteria would include many things -primary being how interested the students are. "We'll have to see how many students apply for the programme and what areas interest them," he explained.
OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi said international facilities would be provided to more than 5,000 media representatives who will throng the Capital in October. "The volunteers will be the face of the Games and we hope they'll enjoy working here,” he said.
Sheffield Hallam, UK's first designated 'City of Sport', had earlier sent a team of 24 volunteers to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. They will also associate themselves with the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.
“We're looking at events that include a lot of English-speaking countries,” said John Palmer, director of communications. “So we won't be working with the Asian Games as we wouldn't be able to contribute anything there,” he said.
The list of the volunteers will be finalised in either June or July, after the completion of the courses. “They (the volunteers) will come to India in the first week of September. That will give them close to a month to acclimatise themselves,” Palmer said. After settling in, the group will be allotted their duties and start working with the press team.