Rio 2016 Olympics open volunteer registration

Getty Images     02 Sep 2014     Getty Images

Altogether 70,000 people will be recruited – enough to fill the famous Maracanã stadium – with the roles split into those with specific skills relevant to certain areas of the Games and general volunteers.

IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The countdown is really on now. The volunteer programme is a unique opportunity for people to work on-site with the athletes in the games and in the organisation alongside people of other languages, nations and cultures. 2016 will be an historic year for Rugby and people have the opportunity to be a part of that.”

“As with all major sporting events, a large percentage of the Olympic Games workforce is made up of volunteers and we hope that the Rugby family in Brazil and throughout South America will see this as a great opportunity to get involved. That is why we are publicising the programme in support of the Brazilian Rugby Confederation (CBRu) and Confederacion Sudamericana de Rugby (CONSUR).

At the Olympic Games in London in 2012, the 70,000-strong team of volunteers received special praise for their efforts with then-IOC President Jacques Rogge hailing them as “the much-needed heroes of these Games”.

Dubbed ‘Games Makers’ by the London 2012 organising committee due to the vital role they played, the volunteers took on a wide variety of roles across the Olympic venues during the Games: from welcoming visitors to transporting athletes, helping out behind the scenes in the technology team and making sure the results were displayed as quickly and accurately as possible.

"One of the most remarkable aspects of the 2012 Olympic Games was the amazing contribution made by volunteers,” said Sebastian Coe, London 2012 organising committee chairman, who described volunteers as “the lifeblood of the Olympic Games”.