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'Little limes' add flavor to Nanjing Youth Olympic Games

2014-08-21 13:36 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e
Volunteers of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (in green kit). (Xinhua Photo)

Volunteers of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games (in green kit). (Xinhua Photo)

An August summer in Nanjing can be daunting. But 20,000 "Little limes" around the city are working long hours to keep the thousands of athletes, officials and media smiling despite the heat.

"Little lime" is the name given to the volunteers, dressed in green kit, that are seemingly everywhere, to lend a helping hand.

A total of 20,000 volunteers were recruited for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games to cover 400 positions in spectator services, competition organization, food and beverage, medical services, NOC services and other fields.

The volunteer recruitment drive was launched in October 2013 and a total of 103,000 people submitted their applications online.

After 30 interviews, some 18,000 locals were recruited, together with 2000 people from other places in China and overseas.

"We planned to include 20,000 volunteers in the Youth Olympic Games and we were successful in recruiting 20,000 volunteers," said volunteer department director Shan Xiaofeng.

"We had to enroll so many volunteers and we felt it was difficult as they had to work in the summer and they don't get paid. But we got 103,000 applications. Most of the applications were from local universities. So from every six applications we chose one volunteer. We were moved by their enthusiasm."

The volunteers went through four phases of training: orientation training, specialized training, job training and participating in validation exercises.

"We highlighted knowledge about fire control, first aid and venue training. We ensure that the volunteers know about the functional areas they work for. We also enhanced venue training to inform them about team structures and sports knowledge," said volunteer department assistant director Wang Peng.

The Organizing Committee also devised an incentive system to keep the young volunteers happy.

"We took measures to motivate the volunteers and gave them a number of incentives. We had a number of cultural activities for them to make them communicate better and in order to build team spirit," said volunteer department deputy director Lin Wuping.

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