London Olympics volunteers are the Games Makers

To make sure that as many of the events as possible run smoothly at the London Olympics, volunteers will play key roles inside and outside the sports arenas and stadia. The Olympiad will be relying on the passion and commitment of volunteers to make the Games memorable.

At the official website at london2012.com, volunteers are called Games Makers. Applications closed on 27 October 2010 and there were nearly a quarter of a million applicants.

Successful applicants are invited to a selection event, with nationwide events beginning in February 2011 and continuing until early 2012. Applicants will be given at least a month's notice of their selection event. The first Olympics roles were assigned in September 2011.

For 16-18 year olds who want to take part, the Young Games Maker programme offers 2,000 applicants the opportunity to  volunteer in a number of different roles during the 2012 Games. Applications, for teams of young people, are open until midnight on October 31 2011. Check the website for the application procedure.

It is important that successful applicants are available for training prior to the Games. They will have to attend at least 3 training sessions before the Olympics get underway.

London Olympics volunteers will have to arrange their own accommodation, but will be entitled to free use of public transport in London (zones 1-6) to get to their shifts during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.This includes travel between London and Eton Dorney, Lee Valley White Water Centre and Hadleigh Farm, Essex. There will also be free transport for volunteers at the sailing venues in Weymouth and Portland and all the co-host cities for the football tournament.

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