Flood of volunteers

accreditation

The 5 000 volunteers that will help at the eight venues in the two Euro 2008 host countries, come from 150 different countries, including Brazil, Senegal and Togo. The most popular of the 14 volunteer sectors are Guest Services, Media and Welcome Services.

“We are delighted by the great level of interest in our volunteer programme,” says Christian Mutschler, Euro 2008 SA Tournament Director for Switzerland, who is in charge of the volunteer project.

The two host countries provided 50% of applicants, but lots of people from neighbouring Italy, France and especially Germany were also keen to join the team. In terms of gender, the men – at 65% – are in the majority.

One-on-one interviews began back in September. Euro 2008 SA has already invited 8 000 candidates to interviews, to be grilled for about 30 minutes by staff from the 37-strong volunteer team or by one of the 100 long-term volunteers. “We could really sense the excitement about the tournament in the interviews,” says Christian Mutschler.

By the time all the volunteers have been recruited, about 4 000 hours of interviews will have been carried out over 80 days. In these sessions – which will last until the end of March – interviewers are looking for motivation, enthusiasm and skills.

All candidates will find out by mid-April whether or not they have made it onto the team for the European Football Championship final round.

Starting on 19 April, each of the eight host cities will organise a kick-off event which, for the volunteers, will be the curtain raiser to Euro 2008. These events, featuring entertainment and special guests, will be the volunteers’ first opportunity to get to know their team and get each other in the mood for the forthcoming tournament. Training will begin at the same time.

The first to be put through their paces will be the transport volunteers, who will complete driver safety courses. Every volunteer will undergo general training and specific preparation for their area of activity.

The applications opened at the end of July 2007. The basic requirements for volunteers were a minimum age of 18 (by 1 June 2008), linguistic ability (English plus German, French or the language of another participating nation) and availability during the tournament.

In addition to the unique experience and exclusive uniform, the volunteers will receive a certificate as a record of their unforgettable time at Euro 2008.