By David Gold

sochi 2014_volunteers_16-04-12April 16 - Sochi 2014 has conducted a training programme with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Academy, working with the trainers who will in turn teach the 6,000 volunteers involved with the Winter Games.

A two day training course was held for 75 trainers who will be based at the 26 volunteer centres around Russia for Sochi 2014.

Providing the training were leading experts including the International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) Apostolos Rigas, Michael Cary of the IPC Academy and Mark Todd, the accessibility manager for London 2012.

The course, held at the Sochi volunteer centre, followed a workshop held in Moscow last year.

The training will give trainers an understanding of how to communicate, interact and support people who have disabilities.

The programme was structured and developed with the help of the International Rugby Board (IRB) trainers Steve Griffiths and Mark Harrington, who led the initial programme last November.

Also in attendance was IPC Academy director Chris Solly, who said: "This programme helps deliver tailored training for Volunteers in Sochi for 2014 and at the same time provides a legacy in Russia of educators capable of providing training for future generations long after the 2014 Games.

"We thank the Organising Committee, the local stakeholders from Sochi and the Krasnodar Region, and in particular the University Volunteer Training Centre's from across Russia who work directly with the volunteers.

"All of these partners have been central in making this unique programme possible."

In total, the services of 25,000 volunteers will be used for both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, who will be selected from volunteer centres situated in 14 regions across the country.

Sochi 2014 organisers are hoping to spark a new wave of volunteering across Russia through the hosting of the Games.

They have already received tens of thousands of applications from Russia and beyond to volunteer during the Olympic and Paralympics.

In total, 35 per cent of Games personnel will be volunteers at Sochi 2014.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]