Calling all 2009, 2010 volunteers!

1 September 2008

Ordinary South Africans, as well as people with specialist skills, now have the chance to be part of the world’s most popular sporting event.

South Africa’s 2010 Local Organising Committee (LOC) has taken applications for 5 000 local volunteers for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup – the first step towards the recruitment and training of around 15 000 volunteers for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Applications for 2009 Confederations Cup volunteers closed on 31 August 2008

Applications for 2010 World Cup volunteers – which will also include some volunteers from the rest of Africa and the world – will open in July 2009.

Volunteers ‘crucial to success of 2009, 2010’

“The World Cup will call on us to step beyond our boundaries and experiences and cater to the whole world,” says LOC volunteer programme manager Onke Mjo. “Volunteers will be crucial to that process.”

Mjo believes that volunteers will “make or break” the Confederations Cup and World Cup programmes.

“People will remember the service and support they get in South Africa – that’s why volunteers are so crucial,” Mjo says. “People will interact with the volunteers … How they are received when they’re in the parking lot, at the stadium, at airports or hotels – that’s what will make them feel it was worth their while coming to South Africa.”

For prospective volunteers, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

What kind of people is the LOC looking for?

The LOC is looking for ordinary people – including students, unemployed youngsters and retired citizens – as well as specialists in various fields to work as volunteers.

General volunteers will be needed in areas such as team liaison, accreditation, spectator services, fan parks, transport, information services, hospitality and logistics.

Specialist volunteers will include medical practitioners, translators, people from the legal fraternity, and information technology experts. Volunteers will also be required with good technical sporting knowledge, language and media skills.

According to Mjo, the most important thing the LOC will be looking for in volunteers are “people who are committed to helping us successfully host the World Cup … We’re looking for open-minded, pro-active South Africans who will always be willing to assist an individual who needs help with anything.”

Is there an age requirement for volunteers?

Yes. In order to be a volunteer, you must be at least 18 years old by March 2009 for the Confederations Cup, and by March 2010 for the World Cup.

Will I get paid for volunteering?

No. The volunteer programme is an opportunity for South Africans to participate in the World Cup by offering their time and services to the Local Organising Committee for free.

You will get a travel allowance, however, as well as training, work experience, official World Cup volunteer clothing – supplied by Adidas – acknowledgement in the 2010 Fifa World Cup brochure – and an opportunity to be part of the world’s biggest single-code sporting event.

What sort of training will I get?

Volunteers will go through a training programme that focuses, among other things, on understanding the game of football and its culture. “Understanding the environment – including understanding Fifa and the World Cup itself – will be crucial to this World Cup,” says Mjo.

“Volunteers will be trained in customer services, taught how to deal with irate spectators, and also to understand the behaviour of fans from different places around the world.”

Volunteers will also be given venue- and job-specific training.

SAinfo reporter

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