The Rio 2016 Organising Committee has recently welcomed some important new members – its first volunteers. Known as the ‘pioneers’, they have already started helping to organise the world’s largest sporting event. And with the first group active, a new cycle of registrations has begun.

The pioneer volunteers programme is a Games tradition. These dedicated team members work at the committee’s headquarters, in administrative roles, each doing eight hours per week. In this first group, 27 volunteers have been selected and are already working in various areas, such as medical services, planning and control, event services, culture, NOC/NPC services, protocol, communications, education and sustainability.

 In order to be ‘pioneers’, the volunteers went through four selection steps: online registration, screening, group sessions and an interview with the functional area. All in all, there were over 200 applications. The next group of pioneers will be formed over the coming weeks.

In addition to being a great learning experience in terms of the selection process, it is a great pleasure to get to know these special people, who spread the values and culture of being a volunteer, donating their time to a constructive cause.

To get an idea of the level of commitment shown, some of these people also worked as volunteers at the 2014 World Cup, where they were involved as our observers, transferring the knowledge they gained at the tournament to Rio 2016.

For us in the volunteering department, their arrival is an important step in the realisation of one of the largest engagement initiatives ever conducted in Brazil: the selection of nearly 70,000 volunteers for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Rio 2016 Volunteers Programme will be open for applications on 28 August of this year. You will be able to apply at www.rio2016.com/en/organising-committee/volunteers.

If you'd like to help stage the first Games in South America, then don't hold back – get involved!