In just 16 days after the online volunteer portal for Pan Am/Parapan Am Games was opened, organizers have received more than 10,000 applications. They are now calling for more Hamiltonians and residents across Ontario to step up to be part of the “once-in-a-lifetime" experience.

Twenty thousand volunteer positions are available in Hamilton and 15 other Ontario municipalities. A wide range of tasks are offered, including medical services, protocol and ticketing, venue management and ushers.

Interviews will start in June and positions will be offered starting from September and continuing up Games time, organizers announced on Wednesday.

In particular, Hamilton volunteers will be needed for the soccer games at the new stadium with positions ranging from drivers to locker room stockers, says Dino Rossi, sport organizing committee chair for TO2015. The stadium could host as many as four soccer games per day during the 2015 Games.

About 550 volunteers have stepped up in Hamilton so far, said Coralee Secore, director of city-wide services with the City of Hamilton. Organizers need about 2,000.

"I have no doubt we'll get the 2,000 volunteers we need to function in Hamilton," she told the city's public works committee this week.

In addition to an amazing experience, organizers say all volunteers will also receive training, a keepsake uniform a volunteer certificate from the province.

Residents aged 16 and up are eligible to apply online at

Those with language skills in French, Spanish and Portuguese are especially encouraged to apply.

The Pan Am Games will take place from July 10 to 26, 2015 and the Parapan Am Games August 7 to 15.

With files from CBC's Samantha Craggs