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SOCHI, March 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Over 8,000 volunteers will be serving Russia’s first ever Winter Paralympic Games, which are slated to be held in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi between March 7 and 16.
The team of volunteers has around 7,000 people from hundreds of Russian cities and towns, over 400 coming from 60 countries outside Russia, while dozens of volunteers are with disability. The average age of volunteers stands at 25.
According to the Sochi-2014 official website, it is for the first time in Paralympics history, when volunteers are provided with free-of-charge accommodation, three meals a day and they will be also travelling around for free on buses and Lastochka speed trains by simply showing their accreditation.
“In the remaining time before the Paralympic Winter Games begin, a total of 70 ‘My Venue’ training programs await the volunteers, which includes added content on the specific Paralympic requirements,” the website said.
“In addition, three Paralympic trainings for volunteer team leaders ‘My Team’ and international volunteers ‘International Induction’ are planned,” the website added.
The majority of volunteers already have experience in serving sports events for people with disabilities. They underwent training courses in volunteer centers at the Sholokhov Moscow State University and the Russian State Social University in Moscow. Most of them worked at the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games in London as well as at the test Paralympics in Sochi during the 2012-2013 season.
The recruitment of volunteers was based on contests, which were held at 26 Volunteer Centers set up with higher education institutions across Russia. The eligible age of volunteers stands between 18 and 80 years.
According to the 2013 World Giving Index (WGI), Russia was ranked in the 8th place in the top ten countries in terms of the highest number of people volunteering.