Volunteers prepare for 18th Asian Games

Jakarta, Indonesia, July 27, 2018: Friday was "V Day" at the 18th Asian Games – the day of the Volunteers.

With 13,000 volunteers set to be on duty at the co-host cities of Jakarta and Palembang, the first day of uniform distribution was held at the Sports and Recreation Arena in East Jakarta on Friday morning.

"I am really excited to collect my uniform and accreditation card. It’s awesome…I’m speechless," said 22-year-old Akmalia Niama, from Demak in Central Java.

"I want to be a volunteer to introduce my country to the world and to contribute to my country."

Akmalia, who will be a volunteer in the International Relations and Protocol Department, added that she had finished her university studies, majoring in physics, but had delayed her job search until after the Asian Games.

"First I want to focus on the Asian Games because I will get a lot of experience as a volunteer," she said. "This experience will be useful for my life."

If Akmalia has delayed her job search, Woro Rati Bawono has shown an even greater commitment to the cause – she has delayed her honeymoon.

"I got married last weekend but we will not go on honeymoon to Japan until September," she said.

"At first I was thinking about postponing my marriage but my mother said everything was organised. My husband is really supporting me to be a volunteer at the Asian Games."

Woro, who is 24 and from nearby Depok, graduated with a master degree in food innovation and health at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark in 2017. During her time in Denmark she played traditional Indonesian instruments, such as the gamelan, a percussion instrument, and the angklung, made of bamboo, at cultural events hosted by the Indonesian Embassy.

"I enjoyed this experience in Denmark and made many friends from different countries," she said. "I want to challenge myself and have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the Asian Games.

"Visitors can expect hospitality and politeness because we really like to host people coming from abroad especially. We like to embrace our cultures. Indonesia has so many different cultures – that is our selling point."

Bagus Adhikara Aryaguna is a 21-year-old student at the University of Darma Persada in East Jakarta and feels volunteering can help him develop as a person.

"This is a big moment for my country and for this region in Asia," he said. "My motivation to be a volunteer is to find experience from other volunteers and from my duties. I want to be a good person in my life and I think this experience will help me and show me team work."

With four venue clusters at the 18th Asian Games, including co-host city Palembang, capital of South Sumatra province, organising committee INASGOC has recruited 13,000 volunteers to help the smooth running of the Olympic Council of Asia’s biggest sports event from August 18 to September 2.

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