Beijing passes the Olympic Volunteer Legacy torch to London

23 Sep 2011

London, 23rd September

After sharing the 2008 Olympic Volunteer work experience with the 2010 Shanghai Expo, 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and Kazakhstan 2011 Asian Winter Games, Beijing has now completed the Olympic Volunteer legacy transfer journey by passing the torch to the next Olympic Games host city, London. A delegation composed by an expert of the Beijing Olympic Volunteer Expert Roster, a Beijing Volunteer Federation officer in charge of the Olympic Volunteer Legacy, China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges and UNV China Field Unit exchanged information with representatives of the Greater London Authority and the Executive Olympic Committee in an interactive session on 22nd September.

Prof. Wei Na, professor at Renmin University of China and lead researcher for the Research Report on the Beijing Olympic and Paralimpic Games Volunteer Work, presented the experience of the Beijing Olympics volunteer management and its impact on society in the post-Olympic times, while the hosts talked about the organization of volunteers for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. The discussion then proceeded around the topics of recruitment processes, legacy transfer plans, sustainability of volunteer contribution after the Olympics, estimated financial equivalent of volunteer contribution, recognition of volunteers and funding. The delegation from China offered the Research Report on the Beijing Olympic and Paralimpic Games Volunteer Work to the London counterparts, including the Greater London Authority, the Office for Civil Society from the Central Government and the Government Olympic Executive, as a reference for the preparation of the London Olympics volunteer programme. “The spirit of the Beijing Olympic Volunteer Programme continues to live through the volunteer programme for the London Olympics, and this has been a unique opportunity to transfer its precious legacy” says Prof. Wei Na. According to the host, this visit was useful and timely, as it prompted them to think in advance about their plans for legacy transfer.

This mission was undertaken under the Olympic Volunteer Legacy Transfer component of the US$1.4 million cooperation project on“Strengthening Volunteerism for Development through the 2008 Beijing Olympics 2007 - 2011” supported by United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Beijing Youth League, Beijing Volunteer Federation, and China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges. In the past four years the project has carried out a variety of activities to build on the enthusiasm for volunteering boosted by the Beijing Olympics and promote volunteerism for development. One of the project objectives in the post-Olympic phase was to document the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games volunteer experience, share it with the national and international community and create mutually beneficial learning opportunities on volunteerism.