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Volunteers from 60 countries helping at Paralympics

March 13, 2014, 16:51 UTC+3 SOCHI

Their average age is 25 years

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© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Smirnov

SOCHI, March 13. /ITAR-TASS/. About 400 volunteers from 60 countries have come to the Sochi Paralympics location to work at 17 facilities there, almost all of them speaking English, said workforce vice president at the Games organizing committee Marina Pochinok.

“Their average age is 25 years. Some are older than 55, we call them ‘silver volunteers’,” she said.

Accepting so many from foreign countries was not an easy task as this required a certain level of comfort, she said.

“I believe that for the first time at the Olympics and Paralympics we managed to provide a very high level of comfort for volunteers. They have everything best - they live in wonderful accommodation, they have free catering during the day and a very cute uniform for both coastal and mountain clusters,” said Pochinok.

About 7,000 volunteers came from Russia, most of them from Moscow, Krasnodar and St. Petersburg: “In some regions, we started to co-operate with universities that helped us train volunteers for the Games," Pochinok said. "They have also started organizing volunteer movements in cities and regions and have already organized more than 300 projects.”

Pochinok added that voluntary work at the Games was “a vivid example of how this project wound up the mechanism of volunteer movement around the country”.

Director of Media and Communications at the International Paralympic Committee Craig Spence spoke of his admiration for the volunteers, saying they surpassed all expectations, were friendly and always there to help. It was to their credit that athletes and spectators left competitions in high spirits, he said.

Organizers say that Russia has already risen to 8th place in the World Giving Index gauge for population involvement in volunteering.

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