Olympic rower Alan Campbell has thrown his weight behind the Event Volunteers NI initiative, a partnership project bringing together the University of Ulster and Volunteer Now, a organisation which promotes volunteering in the community.
Event Volunteers NI will enable participants to achieve an awareness of event management for volunteers, gain a University of Ulster accreditation and develop their own skills, learning, confidence and interests.
The unveiling of Event Volunteers NI dovetails with last week’s launch of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Volunteer Recruitment Campaign for pre-identified applicants for specialist roles (for example doctors, sports specialists, doping control officers and press operations staff) and members of a number of pre-identified disability organisations.
All Games Time volunteers will be known as Games Makers and the online application for generalist Games Maker roles opens to the public on 15 September.
Welcoming the new initiative Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister Nelson McCausland said: “I have no doubt that Event Volunteers NI will be of benefit to those who are considering applying to be a Games Maker at the 2012 Games. I believe that programmes such as this will contribute to the overall Olympic Games legacy for Northern Ireland.
“Following the launch of the London Olympics Volunteer Recruitment Campaign last week, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage as many people as possible to consider volunteering for the Games and become part of what will be the biggest sporting event in 2012.”
Alan Campbell, who competed in the 2004 Olympics, said: “I am delighted to be on board with Volunteer Now and their 2012 Project. With the volunteer initiatives they are already running, alongside the newly established Event Volunteers NI, this can only make the dream of being a Games Maker more realistic to the people of Northern Ireland.”
Dr Nigel Dobson, Co-Director of the Ulster Sports Academy, said: “The partnership with Volunteer Now has allowed the University of Ulster to help position Northern Ireland in a pivotal position in supplying volunteers for the Olympic Games in 2012.
“The Event Volunteers NI project is about encouraging people to develop their personal and professional skills and become a vital part of managing volunteers.”
Wendy Osborne OBE, Chief Executive of Volunteer Now said, “We know that the Northern Ireland population are hugely supportive of the 2012 Games with 89 per cent, the highest percentage, right behind the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“With this in mind we wish to ensure that anyone and everyone who has a desire to be a Games Maker gets the opportunity to fulfill this ambition. We are therefore delighted to announce that Event Volunteers NI can help applicants take a step closer to reality by an agreement we have reached with London 2012. This arrangement enables all Event Volunteers NI graduates, who apply through the central London 2012 volunteer application process, to an interview to become a Games Maker.”
The first Event Volunteers NI programme will run on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 August and for further information or to enroll please contact Volunteer Now on 028 9023 6100 or go to www.volunteering-ni.org.