In 480 days, Normandy will echo to the rhythm of the 7th edition of the largest equestrian sports event of all time. On the evening of Saturday 23 August 2014, the opening ceremony will take place in front of 20,000 spectators, gathered together in the Ornano stadium in Caen. It’s quite a programme.
The event may still seem a long way off, but the recruitment of volunteers for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy, hosted from 23 August to 7 September 2014, began a little over two weeks ago. And it has proven to be such a successful recruitment campaign that latecomers may well rue the day they waited too long before applying.
Officially launched on 10 April 2013, the “Volunteer Programme” for the Games has got off to a sprint with no fewer than 400 applications via the website on the very first day! After the first two weeks, there were over 3,000 requests made, and some 1,800 have already been confirmed. No deadline for receiving forms has been set by the Normandy Organising Committee (Comité d’organisation Normandie) 2014, but the number of applications cannot exceed 5,000.
Suffice to say then that time is short for the applicants.?Detailed statistics reveal that the majority of applicants belong to the equestrian sports’ family. Indeed, around a third have a French Equestrian Federation licence. However, over half the candidates admit to practising equestrian sports. Evidence then that the next global meeting will attract not only enthusiasts, but more broadly, all those who love horses. It should also be noted that nearly 600 requests have come in from overseas. In the hit parade of the most highly motivated French departments, Calvados is topping the leaderboard, with some 591 files registered, ahead of the Manche region (around Cherbourg) (201) and Orne (107). Surprisingly though, around one in two candidates don’t live in Normandy. Such a figure shows that the interest in the Games and their appeal extend beyond the competition region itself.
It’s worth pointing out that the “Volunteer Programme” is open to all, provided that candidates are aged at least 18 on 31 May 2014. It aims to recruit some 3,000 volunteers, a limited number of whom will be invited to lend a helping hand to the organisers from the summer of 2013, during the various preliminary events. The missions of these future volunteers will be many and various: logistics (transport, catering, accommodation, services to the public), sport, services to the media, safety, ticket office, hospitalities, entertainment and communication.?