With less than 300 days left before the start of the Games, the volunteers who will provide support during the operation of 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.
Dozens of volunteers of all ages attended the first training session 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 for the operation of the Games.
This first session was an important moment for many of the Field Cast members ready to start their Olympic journey. This was the case of 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 from another perspective so that we can help others during this Olympic period that's upcoming 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.
The organisation shared with the volunteers different documents with information about the Games
The content of the training will be the same for each session nationwide, welcoming up to 300 participants.
Volunteers will be provided with an overview of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games while training on diversity and inclusion will also be included, along with the rules and rewards of volunteering. The sessions will conclude with participants writing messages to themselves in 2020.
Volunteers wrote messages to themselves in 2020
“This is my first time to join a volunteer activity,” said Kana, a Japanese citizen living in Tokyo.
“I was born in Tokyo and I grew up here, 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 communicating with people so I hope I can help spectators and athletes.”
Among the volunteers who attended the first session, there were also some with experience from 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 National Championships of Triathlon and also Tokyo Marathon. But I am looking forward to the Games, especially after this training. The content was interesting, the presenters were all very good and they did a nice job making it fun”, said Karen, an American living in Tokyo.
The good atmosphere was present throughout the training session
80,0000 volunteer opportunities available
“Tokyo 2020 will offer general training programmes to help Olympic and Paralympic volunteers gain the basic knowledge they need,” said at a press conference Tokyo 2020 Vice Director-General Yusuke Sakaue.
Around 300 general training sessions will be held sequentially 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 worldwide indicate that people everywhere have high expectations for these Games.
The volunteers took pictures with the uniforms they will wear during Games time