Baku, Azerbaijan, Aug. 20
Thousands of young Azerbaijanis are excited at the opportunity to volunteer at the Baku 2015 European Games, new research has revealed.
A survey of 150,403 Azerbaijani students - the largest ever undertaken in the country - has shown that 71 percent believe hosting the European Games will benefit Azerbaijan.
And more than 26,000 are keen to apply for the 12,000 volunteer roles that Baku 2015 European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC) will fill for the inaugural Games.
BEGOC has also revealed that 'Be Amongst The Winners' slogan will serve as the inspirational call for the volunteer recruitment programme.
Simon Clegg, Chief Operating Officer at Baku 2015, said: "This detailed survey of Azerbaijan's student population proves how much passion there is for the European Games amongst the young generation."
"It is very encouraging to know that so many young people are keen to help make the Games come alive, as we want the world to be made to feel welcome and experience the famous Azerbaijani hospitality," he said.
"We will work hard to ensure that we capture the enthusiasm felt by the students as we continue to approach the inaugural European Games and host an event that the entire continent will enjoy."
The survey was carried out by BEGOC with the support of the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation and the Azerbaijan Student Youth Organisations' Union earlier this year.
Farhad Hajiyev, Executive Director of the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation and a board member of Baku 2015, said that the volunteers will be central to the success of the Games.
"I am sure the experience they gain will contribute to Azerbaijan's future development," he added.
"The whole country is passionate about sports and Baku 2015 will be the perfect platform to promote Azerbaijan as a modern and dynamic country capable of hosting major international sporting events. As university students return to their studies in the coming weeks, we look forward to the next phase of our campaign and receiving thousands more applications from young Azerbaijanis who want to help support the Games."
Mr Shahin Ismailov, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Student Youth Organisations' Union, added: "The results of the survey show that a volunteer culture has been completely developed in Azerbaijan and I am sure that student volunteers will play a successful role in the important mission of organising the Games."
BEGOC has also announced that it has received more than 8,000 applications for its volunteer programme in the first two months of its recruitment campaign.
The programme, which was officially launched on 12 June, is aimed at recruiting young Azerbaijani and international volunteers for a number of roles during the first European Games.
Azer Almammadov, 21, is one of the first Baku 2015 European Games volunteers to be selected and is looking forward to playing a vital role at next year's event.
"Volunteering is an amazing opportunity to feel part of the European Games spirit. We are a young country and the first European Games will give us the opportunity to show that Azerbaijanis are involved in shaping the future of our nation," he said. "We want to show the rest of Europe and even the world what we can accomplish while welcoming a range of people from a number of different countries and cultures."
With 60 percent of the population under the age of 30, Azerbaijan's current young generation will play an important role in shaping the country's future and benefit from the Baku 2015 legacy.
For more information on opportunities available within the Baku 2015 volunteer programme, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/baku2015volunteers
Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place from 12 until 28 June 2015.
There will be a total of 19 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and three non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.
Nine of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio Summer Olympic Games in 2016. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Cycling, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Triathlon.
Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC) will organise and run the Games in co-operation with the EOC.
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