3,000 helpers for East Asian Games

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 February, 2008, 12:00am

More than 3,000 volunteers will be recruited for the 2009 Hong Kong East Asian Games.

Johnny Woo Wai-man, chief executive of the 2009 East Asian Games Company, said yesterday volunteers would be deployed at the events and to help visitors. 'The greatest challenge for us is that we have to host many events simultaneously which requires a lot of resources and manpower.'

The organiser has teamed up with the Agency for Volunteer Service and universities to recruit helpers. Mr Woo hoped students, especially those majoring in physical education and tourism, could take part. Applications for volunteers will open in mid-April.

The organiser hopes to sign up 1,200 volunteers in the first stage and 1,800 more later in the year. Application details will be available on the Games' website.

The head of Baptist University's physical education department, Chung Pak-kwong, said 70 of the department's 200 students had expressed an interest in volunteering.

The event is expected to draw 3,200 athletes and 800 coaches and staff. The design of the mascot and details of the souvenir shop will be announced next month.

Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, chairman of the Games planning committee, said Beijing had promised to bring its top squad to the Games.

The Games will involve 287 events in 23 sports at 21 venues, including the Hong Kong Coliseum, the Gin Drinker's Bay landfill and the new Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, which will be completed in March next year.

The organiser will invite seven television stations to cover the Games, which will run from December 5 to 13, and hopes all competitions will be covered. The fifth East Asian Games will be the largest ever held and have received HK$35 million of commercial sponsorship from seven partners.