The Paris 2024 Board of Directors approves the core principles of the volunteer and Torch Relay programmes
Meeting for the first time since France officially became the next host country of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Paris 2024 Board of Directors, chaired by Tony Estanguet, has approved the guiding principles of the two flagship Games engagement programmes: the volunteer programme and the Torch Relay. Following the Tokyo 2020 Games, which were marked by the popular success of the two Handover ceremonies, Paris 2024 is further demonstrating its determination to open the Games to as many people as possible.
^  80% of French people liked the celebration proposed by Paris 2024 during the Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ; and 86% liked the the Handover Ceremony during the Paralympic Games, according to two surveys conducted by IFOP for the Paris 2024 Organising Committee among a representative sample of French people.
The Volunteer programme: the faces of the Paris 2024 Games
Three years from the start of the Games, the Paris 2024 Board has approved the guiding principles of the Volunteer programme, which will involve around 45,000 people. The volunteers will be the faces of the Paris 2024 Games in the eyes of the world, experiencing the organisation of the world’s biggest event from the inside, and contributing to delivering an unforgettable experience for all Games participants (Olympic and Paralympic delegations, media, stakeholders, spectators.)
The Paris 2024 Board has adopted the proposed Olympic and Paralympic Volunteer Charter. This charter is a first of its kind for a large-scale sports event. It was developed and validated together with the French State, the social partners represented within the Paris 2024 Social Charter Oversight Committee and the Paris 2024 Ethics Committee. The charter enables the roles entrusted to the volunteers to be properly defined and delineated. Paris 2024 is in this way committing to ensure each role is clearly defined and calibrated in order to offer volunteers the best possible experience. Roles likely to be entrusted to volunteers are grouped in six categories: welcome, orientation and assistance; sports operations support; organisational operational support; transport; medical services support; and ceremonies support.
Bernard Thibault, President of the Social Charter Oversight Committee and member of the Paris 2024 Board of Director, said : “By developing a volunteer charter together with the partners of the social charter and notably all the social partners, Paris 2024 is putting in place the conditions to deliver a volunteer programme that is aligned with its ambition to stage socially-responsible Games.”
The Board has also approved the guiding principles of the volunteer recruitment strategy. This strategy is based on inclusive recruitment criteria: gender equality; representation of all the French regions, as well as international, and particularly European, volunteers; openness to all age groups from 18 and above on January 1st 2024; and engagement of people with disabilities in the context of the French Government’s initiative targeting 3,000 volunteers with disabilities for major sports events and the Games. The volunteers, finally, could be deployed for events organised ahead of the Games, in particular the test events.
Before the official launch of the recruitment campaign, Paris 2024 will immediately begin a sourcing phase among all Paris 2024 stakeholders, who will contribute actively to the recruitment campaign. They include: the sports movement and especially the Olympic and Paralympic sports federations represented in the programme; the host authorities; the cities and organisations that have received the Terre de Jeux label; and the Paris 2024 partners. The potential candidates identified through this process, as well as people involved in Terre de Jeux civic service missions, will be given a priority application window on the volunteer recruitment platform at the start of 2023. The Paris 2024 Club will also allow some of its members to apply before the official opening of the platform.
Paris 2024 Volunteer Programme milestones
- Autumn 2022: start of the communication campaign
- Early 2023: applications open via the online recruitment programme
- Spring-summer 2023: analysis of applications
- Starting Autumn 2023: responses to applicants and start of training
Start of work on the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relay
Another flagship Games programme, the Torch Relay, will herald the arrival of the Games in France and mark the start of celebrations in the regions. The Board has approved the core principles, defined following consultation with the sports movement, public stakeholders and local government associations.
The Torch Relay route will therefore be determined according to three main objectives:
- Enabling the participation of as many French people as possible
- Maximum number of regions visited in order to connect with French people in all their diversity
- A guaranteed visit to at least one French overseas territory
- Priority given to areas with high population density
- Inclusive criteria for the selection of Torch bearers, particularly in terms of gender equality and inclusion of people with disabilities
- Showcasing France, its regions, heritage and “savoir-faire”
- Promoting the diversity of France’s heritage by showcasing its symbolic sites and the savoir-faire of France
- A relay aligned with Paris 2024’s principles of sustainability and innovation
- Promoting the role of sport in society
- Engagement of sports clubs and associations in the organisation of the Torch Relay and in particular the first collective relays organised for these Games
- Showcasing of host and Terre de Jeux communities strongly committed to promoting the role of sport in the lives of their residents
Key stages in defining the Torch Relay route
- Late 2021: start of work to define the Torch Relay route
- 2023: unveiling of the Olympic and Paralympic Torch designs
- Late 2023: announcement of the Torch Relay route
- April 2024: start of the Torch Relay
Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024, said: “Just a few days after the end of the Tokyo Games, the Paris 2024 stakeholders are working to move the project into an operational phase. Following the Board’s approval of the guiding principles of the Torch Relay and Volunteer recruitment strategy, the Paris 2024 teams will start work on the definition of the Torch Relay route and the sourcing of volunteers. These key stages demonstrate our ambition to open the Games to as many people as possible.”
Board nominations and creation of Paris 2024 Environmental Excellence Committee
The Board of Directors has approved the creation of an Environmental Excellence Committee, whose role will be to support Paris 2024 in its environmental strategy, through its recommendations and operational monitoring. The Board of Directors has entrusted the chairmanship of this committee to Gilles Bœuf, a biologist specialising in ocean biodiversity and visiting professor at the Collège de France on the "Sustainable development, environment and societies" chair. He joins the Board of Directors as a qualified representative of civil society.
The board of directors has also appointed Sandrine Martinet, para judo athlete, as a qualified representative of the sports world, to replace Marie-José Pérec who wished to continue her engagement with Paris 2024 in another form. In addition, Yves Wehrli joins the Audit Committee as a qualified representative, replacing Florence Philbert who has recently taken on new functions.
Biographies of the new members of the Board and Audit Committee
Gilles Bœuf – A biologist specialising in ocean biodiversity, Gilles Bœuf is a professor at Pierre and Marie Curie University. He was president of the National Museum of Natural History from 2009 to 2015 and was elected in 2013 visiting professor at the Collège de France on the "Sustainable development, environment and societies" chair. He was also a member of the Scientific Council for Natural Heritage and Biodiversity at the Ministry of Ecological and Inclusive Transition. On February 3rd, 2021, he was appointed to the Ethics Advisory Board for Life Sciences and Health by the Minister responsible for national education.
Sandrine Martinet - Born in Montreuil, Sandrine Martinet pursues a career as a high level para judo athlete alongside her profession as a physiotherapist. Three-time world champion in the under 52 kg category, she was crowned Olympic champion at the Rio 2016 Games, after winning silver in 2004 in Athens and then in 2008 in Beijing. She was the flag bearer for the French delegation at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games where she won silver, her fifth Paralympic medal.
Yves Wehrli - Lawyer at the Paris Bar, partner at Clifford Chance from 1988 to 2021 and Of Counsel associate since May 1, 2021, Yves Wehrli served as Managing Partner of the Paris office of Clifford Chance between 2000 and 2020. He has also been a member of the Executive Leadership Group of the global firm and served two terms as Managing Partner for the Continental Europe region. Specialised in corporate law, contract law and sports law, he has advised many major international sporting events and international organisations (FIFA, IOC, FIFA World Cup France 1998, etc.) and is one of the leading international experts in the field of sports law. He has also been a member of the UEFA Financial Fair Play investigative chamber since the establishment of this body overseeing the financial statements of clubs participating in UEFA competitions. His term ended this summer.
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