Countdown to the Games
0 DAYS
0 HRS
0 MINS
0 SECS
17-25 June 2023

Volunteers

 

Be part of something big – be a volunteer!

We are looking for up to 20,000 volunteers for the world's biggest inclusive sports event, the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023. More than 7,000 athletes from all over the world will travel to Berlin to perform at their best —and we need you to help make their stay unforgettable.

Join our international volunteer team and support us with your skills so that we can offer all Special Olympics athletes and guests a unique Berlin experience and celebrate an unforgettable festival of inclusion together.

 
APPLY NOW

The photo shows a scene between a Voluneer and an athlete at a swimming competition during the National Games Berlin 2022. The two prepare the athlete for the competition and kneel in front of a box where the athlete puts his stuff before entering the water.
1  of  15
The photo shows a large group of volunteers during the Berlin 2022 National Games, all having fun and cheering towards the camera.
2  of  15
The photo shows a scene at tennis during the National Games Berlin 2022. In the foreground is a volunteer with his back to the camera. His T-shirt says "ich helfe gerne" which means "I like to help" in German.
3  of  15
The photo shows four volunteers posing with a National Games clapperboard and visibly having fun.
4  of  15
The photo shows three volunteers standing on the Marsfeld in the Olympic Park, smiling and posing for the camera. In the background you can see the football field.
5  of  15
The photo shows two volunteers attending to a welcome table and smiling toward the camera. One of them is giving a thumbs up.
6  of  15
The photo shows three volunteers serving food. They are wearing protective clothing, including hairnets, and are posing and cheering for the camera.
7  of  15
The photo shows two volunteers who are in charge of the clothing distribution stand and are obviously having fun.
8  of  15
The photo shows a scene with a total of eight volunteers at Messe Berlin. They are all smiling happily at the camera.
9  of  15
The photo shows a merchandise stand during the Berlin 2022 National Games. The stand is manned by two smiling volunteers, each with one arm raised in jubilation.
10  of  15
The photo shows two volunteers assigned to serve drinks.
11  of  15
The photo shows two volunteers at kayaking competitions, standing at the water's edge and raising a paddle together.
12  of  15
The photo shows two young volunteers who are in charge of the drinks counter and serving coffee during the National Games.
13  of  15
The photo shows two volunteers standing in front of the stage of the Special Olympics National Games Berlin 2022 Closing Ceremony directly at the Brandenburg Gate with their arms raised upwards in jubilation.
14  of  15
In the photo you can see a volunteer at the swimming competitions with her back to the camera. On her t-shirt it says "ich helfe gerne" which means "I'm glad to help".
15  of  15
1  of  15
The photo shows two people from behind. On the left is a Special Olympics swimmer and on the right a volunteer who has her arm around the athlete.
Your benefits as a Volunteer

  • Meet international Special Olympics athletes
  • Make friends with people from all around the world
  • Free entry to the opening and closing ceremony and all competitions
  • Volunteer clothing and merchandise
  • Meals and beverages
  • Volunteer certificate
  • Free use of public transport
  • And much more!
There is an athlete performing high jump during the athletics competitions.
Who can be a Volunteer?

It does not matter if you already have experience or if you want to be a volunteer for the first time.

Criteria overview:

  • Full application until 31 December 2022
  • Minimum age 16 (by 1 May 2023)
  • Communication in German or English
  • Availability for at least 5 days
  • Participation in volunteer trainings
The photo shows a group of 5 volunteers at the Special Olympics Festival during the National Games. They are cheering into the camera and visibly having fun.
Volunteer Group

Would you like to volunteer together with your classmates, friends, or acquaintances from your sports club?

You are welcome to apply as a Volunteer Group. Please feel free to contact us at volunteers@berlin2023.org.

Of course, you can also apply as an Individual Volunteer. Don't worry! Even if you apply alone, you will get to know many people from all over the world and quickly make new friends.
The photo shows a female athlete during her cycling competition at the National Games Berlin 2022. She smiles and shows thumbs up.
We are happy to help

Do you need some assistance with your application? Do you have questions about the process? Then contact us directly.

Our phone number is: +49 (0)30 629 33 60 60

Or write us an email via volunteers@berlin2023.org
What are you waiting for?

COVID-19 Disclaimer:

The health and safety of our athletes and all participants remain our highest priority with the COVID-Pandemic still being present all over the Globe.
In order to attend Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 and based on the overall Pandemic development you may be requested to complete a COVID survey or provide COVID related data including vaccination related information.
Details will be communicated to all client groups as soon as the COVID protocol has been defined by the LOC and SOI.

It is very likely that vaccination proof will be required for certain client groups and that COVID prevention measures, such as testing prior to and during the Games will be implemented. We look forward to welcoming you in Berlin and appreciate your support to ensure that we can create the safest environment for the event.

Your Volunteer Journey

Colorful graphic with text saying "Volunteer Journey"
"October 2021 - Apply online. Volunteer application opens."
"Until December 2022 - Screening + Selection. We screen the applications and select the volunteers."
"February 2023 - Role Assignment. We distribute the areas of responsibility to you."
"March 2023 - Volunteer Training. We prepare you for your tasks."
"May 2023 - Uniform & Accreditation. You will receive your uniform and all the other documents you need."
"We look forward  to seeing you!"

Areas and roles

There is a suitable role for everyone. During the application process, you can select up to three preferred volunteer areas.

We will try our best to assign you to your preferred area, however, we cannot guarantee this.
Accommodation

Welcome the delegations and guests to the official hotels and provide them with support during their stay. Be the hotel's contact person and report to the accommodation team.
Accreditation

Assist in production, printing, and distribution of personalized accreditations. Support the daily operations at the Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Center (UDAC).
Catering

Support in the various hospitality areas during the all-day catering supply for athletes and all other client groups at sports venues, as well as other event locations.
Ceremonies

Support the overall planning and operations of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games. Help during rehearsals and provide support to athletes and performers during the ceremonies.
Conferences & Summits

Support and participate in congresses and meetings of athletes, representatives from politics and science, as well as committed young people on the topic of inclusion.
Delegation Services

Support the more than 170 participating delegations, for example, with their arrival and departure, their participation in meetings, the opening and closing ceremony, as well as other events.
Family Services

Support family members of the athletes during the entirety of their stay in Berlin. Provide them with information about Berlin, the Games, as well as other events, and assist at the Family Desk. 
Healthy Athletes®

Support in screenings and consultations in the Healthy Athletes® program, the world's largest health program specializing in people with intellectual disabilities.
Logistics

Assist with the setup of temporary facilities at the venues. Support the warehouse and delivery logistics with tracking the arrival, departure, loading, and unloading of goods.
Marketing & Communications

Support with creating Games content (photo, video, and text) for social media, our website, and other platforms. Take part in promotional activities and sponsor activations.
Media

Ensure the smooth running of media centers and manage mixed zone operations (photos and interviews). Assist in content production and provide information to media representatives.
Non-Competitive Sports Offer

Welcome participants and introduce them to the different stations of the Non-Competitive Sports Offer (NCSO) in a fun environment.
Special Olympics Festival

Assist in the smooth running of the Special Olympics Festival at prime locations in Berlin. Support the artists, the backstage area and the booth partners.
Spectator Services

Be the first to welcome spectators from all around the world and provide them with support at the venues. Ensure that they have memorable experiences during the Games.
Sports

Help organizing the various sports competitions and assist athletes, officials, and the competition manager. Provide support during sports presentations and award ceremonies.
Technology

Support with technology services at the venues. For example, with IT infrastructure, competition timing and scoring, and day-to-day checks of technical equipment.
Ticketing

Support the sale of tickets at the box offices and ensure a smooth admission of spectators. You are the first contact person for ticket problems and questions of the spectators.
Torch Run

Support the Special Olympics Torch Run. Participate to travel several days across Germany prior to the Games. Be a driver, take pictures and videos or engage with local athletes.
Transport

Support the movement of all constituent groups from arrival to departure, from hotels to competition venues, and other events. Act as a volunteer driver or help manage transport requests.
Venue Management

Support the overall management and daily operations at competition venues. This could include administrative tasks, overall setup before the Games, and supervision of all facilities.
Volunteer Management

Support the volunteer team with uniform distribution, onboarding activities, workforce planning, supervision of the volunteer lounges, and the organization of volunteer engagement activities.
0:00 / 0:00
Video Companion
Activate Video
Please confirm that you would like to view our content.

Specialist Roles

We have something more in store. If you are available to support us for more than five days and you love challenges, we have the following specialist roles for you:
Dedicated Host
Meet and assist Honored Guests throughout their stay in Berlin. Ensure that they have an outstanding experience and support at the Honored Guest Welcome Center.
Delegation Assistant Liaison (DAL)
DALs are the main point of contact between the LOC and a delegation. They accompany the delegation and provide support.
Key Volunteer
Act as responsible staff members in several venue-based roles, as well as have supervisory duties over volunteers.
Tandem Team
A tandem team consists of one volunteer with ID and one volunteer without a disability. Both will do all the tasks together.
Volunteer Driver
Be part of our drivers team and support the World Games by driving all client groups to our locations across Berlin in a sustainable and comfortable Toyota.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

General Information

What are the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023?


At the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 (17 - 25 June 2023), we will welcome around 7,000 athletes from more than 190 nations.

For eight days, athletes with intellectual and multiple disabilities will compete in 26 sports and Unified Sports® competitions. This makes the Special Olympics World Games the world’s largest inclusive sports event.

I am a person with a disability. Can I also become a volunteer?


Yes, definitely. It is important for us that everybody can participate in the volunteer program.

At volunteers@berlin2023.org you can write us how we can support you in the best possible way.

I have never volunteered before. Can I apply anyway?


Yes! Don’t worry, there is a suitable task for everyone. We are happy about every helping hand, whether you are a first-timer or a "professional" volunteer.

You’ll receive extensive training and information to help you to perform your tasks well and have a great Games' experience.

Do I have to live in Germany to become a volunteer?


No, applications are open to people from all over the world. Everybody who is interested in volunteering can apply.

However, you need a valid entry permit for Germany to participate as a volunteer. Please inform yourself about the visa requirements that apply to your country of origin when entering Germany. You can find more information on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.

Will there be any accommodation arrangements for volunteers?


All volunteers are responsible for arranging and paying any accommodation they may require before or during the Games. However, we will be happy to help you get in touch with other volunteers so that you can organize accommodation together.

What Covid measures will be taken to ensure the safety of volunteers?


At the Special Olympics movement, the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers, coaches, families, and staff are our top priorities. The current situation is changing very rapidly, and we are always following the government guidance. More details to follow.

Your Application

Until when can I apply as a volunteer?


You can apply until 31 December 2022 for the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.

Will I be automatically accepted as a volunteer after applying?


No. But we are looking for a high number of volunteers to support us during the Games. Your chances to be selected are therefore very high.

Still, you must fulfill our minimum criteria to be a volunteer at the Games. We will inform you once you are selected as a volunteer for the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.

I would like to volunteer together with others as a group. Is that possible?


Yes, you can apply as a group. Please feel free to contact us at volunteers@berlin2023.org

What do I do if I have problems filling out the application form?


We are happy to support you during the application process. Please contact us at volunteers@berlin2023.org and attach a screenshot of the problem.

We also provide you with an application handbook, a video tutorial and telephone support to help you with your application.

For more information in Easy English visit our support page here.

My availability has changed. What should I do?


The days you have selected in the application form are not yet binding. You can adjust your availability any time in the Volunteer Management System.

I have applied as a volunteer but want to withdraw my application. What should I do?


If your plans change and you can no longer participate as a volunteer, please contact us as soon as possible via email at volunteers@berlin2023.org.

Your Shift

Can I get time off from my employer to participate as a volunteer?


As soon as you have been selected as a volunteer, we will provide you with a cover letter for your request for special leave to present to your employer. We recommend that you speak to your employer about this topic as soon as possible. Please note that the entitlement to special leave varies from each country or federal state.

How many days do I need to be available?


You must be available for at least 5 days (5 shifts) during Games time. Of course, you are welcome to also support us during preparations or the post-event phase. We appreciate any help.

How long is a shift?


On average, a shift will be between 6 and 8 hours, including a break. Shifts can vary depending on your area or role.

I prefer to have my shifts in the afternoon. Will there be a chance to choose?


Yes! There are morning and afternoon shifts. You can specify your preferred working time in the application form. When assigning roles and shifts, we will consider your preference accordingly.

Trainings

What kind of training will all volunteers get in the lead up to the Games?


To get you prepared for the Games we will hold mandatory training sessions for all volunteers. Prior to the Games, everybody must complete the following training:

General Training – General information about Special Olympics, the Games and volunteering at the Games.

Diversity and Inclusion Training – Training in cultural awareness and interacting with people with disabilities.

Protective Behaviors Training – Education to prevent physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and general mistreatment of people with intellectual disabilities.

Role-specific Training – Information about specific tasks you will perform in your area and role.

Do I have to be in Berlin for the trainings?


No, most training will be held digitally. However, you should be in Berlin for the Venue Training which will take place a few days before the Games.

Are the trainings for everybody and barrier-free?


The training sessions will be held in German and English as well as in Easy Language (German and English). If needed, we will also offer simultaneous interpretation in German Sign Language or International Sign. For training sessions that are held on site, we will ensure a barrier-free access.

If you need additional support, please contact us at volunteers@berlin2023.org, and we will find a solution.

How much time will the trainings take?


Each training session is currently scheduled for 60 min to max. 120 min. The total amount of training is therefore about 5-6 hours. However, the trainings do not take place all at once, but over a period of several months.

Specialist Roles

What is a Key Volunteer?


Key Volunteers act as the link between the different work areas, the volunteer team, and the volunteers. They act as responsible staff members in several venue- based roles as well as have supervisory duties over volunteers.

A Key Volunteer will work longer and more shifts but will in return also receive some more benefits. You will take over more responsibility, however you will also gain many impressions of the organization of major sporting events. As a Key Volunteer, you will be involved in operations even before the event.

What is a Delegation Assistant Liaison (DAL)?


Delegation Assistant Liaisons (DALs) are volunteers who are integrated into a delegation to be their main point of contact of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC). DALs act as cultural mediators, informal translators, and guides to make the adaptation of the delegation in Berlin easier.

DALs are hosted at the same accommodation as their assigned delegation and receive the same benefits as all delegation members during the stay.

However, as a DAL you also commit to longer shifts and more working days compared to a "normal" volunteer.

Along with good organizational and communication skills, DALs must speak English and ideally the language of their assigned delegation. They are familiar with the country and culture of the assigned delegation and possess intercultural awareness.

Tandem Team – I have a disability. Can I volunteer together with somebody I feel comfortable with?


Yes, you can. During the Games we will have so-called Tandem Teams. A Tandem Team consists of two volunteers, one with and one without disabilities. The team will perform all tasks together.

You can be part of the team with a tandem partner you already know. Or we can find a partner for you. Of course, you will get to know your partner in the run-up to the Games to see if you can work together well.

Healthy Athletes® program – I have a medical background. How can I use my skills at the World Games?


Special Olympics has a special health program called Healthy Athletes®. The program supports all athletes and provides professional medical examinations of the eyes, ears, teeth, feet, and physical as well as mental fitness.

Many athletes who come to Berlin have limited access to medical care and may receive it for the first time at the Games. For this important task, we need volunteers with a medical background.