Thousands put up hands for 2009

1 September 2009

The volunteer application process for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup South Africa closed this weekend with almost 35 000 applications received.

South Africa had responded “phenomenally” since applications for volunteers opened on 1 July, the 2010 Fifa World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) said in a statement on the weekend.

Johannesburg residents led the pack with 16 236 volunteer applications, followed by Rustenburg in North West province with 6 580 applications, Mangaung/Bloemfontein with 6 489 applications and Pretoria with 5 416 applications.

The LOC received numerous queries from Germany, Brazil, the USA, Ghana and Australia, showing the worldwide interest in the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup. Applications for 2009 were restricted to South African residents, however.

Billed as the “festival of champions”, the Confederations Cup pits the champions of the six Fifa confederations, reigning world champions and next World Cup hosts against each other.

The 16-match tournament will take place at Ellis Park, Loftus Versfeld, Free State Stadium and Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in the four South African host cities from 14 to 28 June 2009.

LOC chief executive officer Danny Jordaan said the organisation was “humbled and greatly encouraged by the incredible response from South African residents,” saying it showed “that our people are enthusiastic about playing their part and getting involved in the success of the Confederations Cup and the World Cup.”

Jordaan said the volunteer process provided an ideal opportunity for South Africans to open their arms and embrace the world.

A total of 4 030 volunteers will be required in the four Confederations Cup host cities to assist in operational areas such as accreditation, administration, information technology, language support, logistics, transport, information services, media and marketing.

Between now and November, all applications will go through a pre-selection and selection process, with successful applicants being contacted in order to attend interviews.

Applicants not contacted by the LOC by the end of November can take it that their application was not successful.

For the volunteers, the Confederations Cup will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to work on an event of this scale.

Volunteers will receive uniforms, specialised event training, and an unforgettable life experience, the LOC said.

And while 2009 volunteers would not be guaranteed a place as a volunteer for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, it would certainly be to their advantage to have worked at a major Fifa event.

Source: BuaNews