More than 240,000 people register as 2012 Olympic volunteers

More than 240,000 people have applied to volunteer for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity during the 2012 Olympic Games.

The volunteering team at the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) are now sifting through the applications to pick dedicated and passionate people who want to get involved.

Selection and interviews of short-listed applicants will take place between February 2011 and February 2012 before training gets underway.

LOGOC says that 40 per cent of the applicants had never volunteered before but have been inspired by the Games.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG said: “We’re thrilled with the response we’ve had to date for our volunteering programme and would like to thank the 240,000 people who have pledged to give their time during the Games in 2012. Now we begin the task of finding the right people and ensuring that we match them to the most appropriate roles. This is a long process and will take time but we’re asking people to be patient – this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is really worth it!”

Tower Hamlets is one of the five East London Olympic host boroughs and staff at Queen Mary, University of London, which has a campus in Mile End, have been granted extra leave by their bosses if they get picked to help out during the games.

The Mayor of London is also running a separate volunteering programme and aiming to recruit up to 8,000 London Ambassadors to help and advise all the visitors who will travel to London during the Olympics and Paralympics.

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They will be based at key points across the city including transport hubs, outside Games venues, and at popular visitor spots to help visitors with tips about on what to see and do, where to stay and how to get around the capital. The registration period for the Mayor’s volunteering programme closes on 31st December 2010.