September 22 - Gwangju 2012 has welcomed the volunteers who will support the World University Badminton Championship at a ceremony held at the City Hall.
The World Championship take place in November and will be a key event for the city, which hosts the Summer Universiade in 2015.
It will be an early opportunity to test out preparations and venues, as well as train volunteers, three years before that event.
It is the 12th World University Badminton Championship, with 250 athletes and officials from over 20 countries set to participate.
There will be one team event and five individual events over the six days of competition.
In all, there will be approximately 500 volunteers serving at the Championships, which take place at the Yeomju Gymnasium in the South Korean city between November 6 and 11.
Volunteers will be crucial to the success of the event, and Gwangju 2012 co-chairman Kang Un-tae, also the Mayor of Gwangju, welcomed them at the ceremony.
The volunteers then took a pledge to carry out their responsibilities during the international competition.
There will be nine different main functions carried out by volunteers, including translation, information services, parking and cleaning.
They will be referred to as "Shuttle Friends" throughout the duration of the event, a play on shuttlecock, and the term was designed to convey warmth.
"Through the Gwangju World University Badminton Championship 2012, which is also the Pre Universiade prior to the Gwangju Summer Universiade 2015, we will be able to draw the attention from in and out of Korea and provide Gwangju with a valuable time to acquire know-how to operate an international event," said Yoon-Suk Kim, secretary-general of both Gwangju 2012 and Gwangju 2015.
"In addition, Gwangju will enjoy not only the economic effect generated directly from hosting a mega scale international event, but also greater benefit from the heightened brand value of Gwangju city."
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