Such is the scale of the modern-day Asian Games there were 13,000 volunteers required for the duration of the event, including 2,000 in Palembang alone.

Places were available for high-profile roles such as protocol assistants, National Olympic Committee assistants and liaison officers, all of which are vitally important to the smooth running of the event.

Those interested in applying could do so through the official Jakarta-Palembang 2018 website, which opened on January 18.

The Asian Games test event, due to take place in Jakarta from February 10 and 24, needed 2,000 volunteers.

Following a first phase of registration for volunteers, a second phase begun in December 2017 and was for the actual 2018 Asian Games themselves.

Most volunteers were aged between 19 and 50. 

Each wore specially-designed, distinctive, eye-catching uniforms.

"Every volunteer should raise the enthusiasm and excitement of the Games, by implementing their roles with responsibility and assisting delegations in a friendly manner, especially by showing the Indonesian spirit of hospitality," the Indonesia Asian Games 2018 Organising Committee (INASGOC) said.

Volunteers came from far and wide as seen in the general public and, in particular, students applying to play their part.

Having foreign language skills and a passion for ensuring a successful Asian Games were considered key requirements.

In addition to volunteers, there was a 5,000-strong paid workforce on duty during the Asian Games.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies, at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, featured around 10,000 performers.

Those interested in applying could do so through the Jakarta-Palembang 2018 website ©Jakarta-Palembang 2018
Those interested in applying could do so through the Jakarta-Palembang 2018 website ©Jakarta-Palembang 2018

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Types of volunteers

Protocol assistants

These were assigned to look after and assist the most high profile "VVIP" guests, such as heads of state, International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Family, and other high-level members of Government and organisations.

National Olympic Committee (NOC) assistants

These were assigned to assist "VIP" guests and delegations from each participating country in the Games.

They also took on the role of liaising between the delegations and the INASGOC regarding any inquiries for either party.

Liaison officers

These were responsible for providing information needed by delegates, guests and visitors.

The placement of liaison officers was varied, ranging from airports, the Athletes’ Village, food and catering areas, help desks, hotels and venues.

Work force

These were vital cogs in the volunteer field and were responsible for assisting the running of sporting action in every venue.

Liaison officers and work force were two of the four types of volunteers needed for the 2018 Asian Games ©Jakarta-Palembang 2018
Liaison officers and work force were two of the four types of volunteers needed for the 2018 Asian Games ©Jakarta-Palembang 2018

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Areas of assignment for volunteers

Volunteers at the 2018 Asian Games were on assignment and channelled according to specially-made requests from each department under the management of INASGOC.

Sport, medals and culture

A key role of these volunteers was ensuring sporting action took place according to the Games programme and ratified competition schedule.

Venue and environment

Responsible for ensuring the venues and training grounds, as well as other areas of infrastructure, were well-stocked and ran smoothly during the Games.

Arrival, departure and hospitality

Had an eye on their watches at all times as they were responsible for ensuring the smooth running of all activities related to the arrival and departure of all guests during the Games.

Athletes’ Village and services

Responsible for ensuring that the Games’ participants were provided international-quality accommodation and service that conforms to OCA standards.

Promotion, Games look and socialisation

Responsible for conducting all activities related to the promotion of the Games in host nation Indonesia, competing countries as well as in IOC member countries.

Ceremonies and events

Responsible for carrying out duties and obligations related to planning, preparing, coordinating and organising events such as the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and medal ceremonies.


Responsible for conducting all activities related to securing and then distributing tickets, and were considered crucial to the aim of increasing revenue.


Had to be tech-savvy as they were responsible for publishing information through various social media channels and were seen as being vital in sharing information and data on the Games.

IT and Telecomm

Responsible for ensuring that all IT and Telecomm-related operational activities were properly and appropriately facilitated so that duties and responsibilities could be performed effectively and efficiently.


Responsible for broadcasting the entire Games to various locations simultaneously, both at home and abroad.


It was up to these volunteers to make sure a whole host of people were looked after in this respect, from athletes, trainers and crew, through to the OCA Family, International and Asian Federations, the media, state guests and sponsors.


Responsible for coordinating accommodation matters for all parties involved in the Games, including athletes, trainers, crew and other guests.

International relation and protocol

Responsible for cooperating with the IOC, OCA, participating countries and International and Asian Federations about the implementation of the Games, providing assistance for VIP and VVIP needs.

Media and public relations

Responsible for creating and building a good image for the implementation of the Games and of the INASGOC through cooperation with three key sectors of the press; print, electronic and online media.


Responsible for ensuring that all athletes, trainers and crews that participated in the Games had original, complete and accredited documents recognised by the state, NOCs and International Federations.


Responsible for matters related to marketing and sales, including merchandise and sponsorship.