With less than 300 days until the start of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the volunteers who will provide support during the event have started their training. On 5 October, the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) held the first training sessions for the Tokyo 2020 Field Cast (Games volunteers) at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Centre in Tokyo.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience
Tokyo 2020 volunteers will play key roles in the success of the Games, while enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in a variety of roles that will provide valuable support to Games operations.
This first session was an important moment for many of the Field Cast members ready to start their Olympic journey. This was the case for Carson, an American living in Tokyo who took part in the first training event.
“The session was great. It was interesting to learn more about the history of the Olympics and Japan's involvement in the Olympics,” he said.
“I think I was most moved by the training about what disability is and how we need to see things from another perspective to help others during the Olympics next year.”
The volunteers received different documents with extensive information about the Games. They will provide support in a number of areas including spectator guidance, competition operation and media operation. They will also be deployed in various locations including competition venues and the Athletes' Village.
Up to 300 participants will be attend each session, with the content of the training the same for each session nationwide.
Volunteers will be provided with an overview of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with training on diversity and inclusion, along with the rules and rewards of volunteering. The sessions will conclude with participants writing messages to themselves in 2020.
“This is my first time as a volunteer,” said Kana, a Japanese citizen living in Tokyo.
“I was born and grew up in Tokyo, so I feel this is a special opportunity for me. I really want to do something for my city. I lived overseas for a few years, I like to speak English and communicate with people, so I hope I can help the spectators and athletes.”
Among the volunteers who attended the first session, there were some with experience of different sporting events.
“I am working with the Rugby World Cup right now. For the last few years, I have also helped at the Japan Triathlon National Championships and the Tokyo Marathon. But I am looking forward to the Games, especially after this training session. The content was interesting, the presenters were all very good and they did a nice job of making it fun,” said Karen, an American living in Tokyo.
80,000 volunteer opportunities available
“Tokyo 2020 will offer general training programmes to help Olympic and Paralympic volunteers gain the basic knowledge they need,” said Tokyo 2020 Vice Director General Yusuke Sakaue.
Around 300 general training sessions will be held at 13 different venues in 11 prefectures nationwide until the end of February 2020. In March 2020, Field Cast members will be given roles for the Games and, from April 2020, the specific training sessions will begin.
A total of 204,680 people in Japan and overseas have applied to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Volunteer Programme, with up to 80,000 volunteer opportunities available. The high level of interest in Japan and abroad indicates that people everywhere have high expectations for these Games.