By Gary Anderson

January 16 - Swansea 2014 will be looking to follow the success of the volunteer programme at London 2012 ©Getty Images The search for up to 1,000 volunteer "Champions" for the 2014 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics European Championships  in Swansea is set to be launched on January 30.

That date marks just under 200 days to go until the start of the Championships on August 18 at the Swansea University Sports Village, which will see around 600 of the top European Para-athletes from 40 countries competing in the week-long event.

Organisers are inviting people from Swansea, Britain and the rest of Europe to become a volunteer at the event, where they will be involved in a wide variety of activities across the athletics venue and the Championships Village with no previous experience or specialist skills needed for many of the roles.

"The launch of the Champions programme is a major milestone in our planning for the 2014 Championships," said chairman of the Swansea 2014 Organising Committee Paul Thorburn.

"The volunteers will be central to the success of the event and will help deliver the warm welcome and outstanding experience that we know Swansea and Wales can deliver.

"We want people from the city and the region to be inspired by the Championships and there is no better way than to get involved as a 'Champion' and actually be part of history."

In 2012, Swansea University hosted training camps for the Mexican and New Zealand Paralympic teams prior to the London Paralympics.

This year's event will be the first time the European Championships will have been staged in Britain following on from Assen 2003, Espoo 2005 and Stadskanaal 2012.

To become a "Champion" volunteer for Swansea 2014, applicants need to be aged 18-years-old or over and must be available for 10 days around the Championships, and will need their own transport and accommodation.

Organisers say that full training will be given to all successful applicants.

Paralympic and world discus champion Josie Pearson is a Swansea 2014 Ambassador ©Getty Images Paralympic and world discus champion Josie Pearson is a Swansea 2014 Ambassador
©Getty Images

Paralympic discus champion Josie Pearson is an Ambassador for Swansea 2014 and is urging people to apply and get involved in the event.

"I can't wait for the IPC European Championships being held in Swansea this year," said Pearson.

"I'm really proud to be an ambassador for the event.

"Having major championships not only on home turf but also in Wales is fantastic.

"As in London 2012, the volunteers needed to make an event like this work are vital.

"I would strongly encourage people to consider being a volunteer for the Games.

"I can think of nothing more rewarding than helping the athletes in Team GB fulfilling their quest to become European champions."

For more information on becoming a Swansea 2014 'Champion' click here.

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