Thousands of volunteers needed for World Masters Games in Auckland next year

By Lincoln Tan

Auckland will hand out its own medals for the World Masters Games next year. Photo / File
Auckland will hand out its own medals for the World Masters Games next year. Photo / File

Thousands of volunteers will be needed to help Auckland host one of its biggest sporting events in its history.

The city will host the World Masters Games in April next year, with 25,000 athletes competing in 28 sports across 48 competition venues.

Organisers are needing to recruit up to 4000 volunteers, but have so far received just about 1600 applications.

Games chief executive Jennah Wootten said the volunteer numbers would be at the levels of the 2011 Rugby World Cup and 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.

She said the Games was the largest multi-sport event in the world, and was bigger in scale than even the Olympics in terms of athlete numbers.

"The goal...is to encourage participation in sport throughout life," Wootten said.

This is the first time New Zealand will host the event, which is expected to generate more than 240,000 visitor nights and $30.8m GDP for Auckland alone.

The organisers are looking for volunteers with a positive attitude, are approachable and friendly and able to work well in a team environment.

Quite a number of the applicants received so far were from international students studying in Auckland.

Applicant Yi He, from China, said volunteering had helped her make friends, settle in Auckland and even improved her English.

The 25-year-old University of Auckland student got hooked on volunteering since she started helping during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake back home.

"The earthquake was the worst disaster I experienced, and I volunteered to carry relief supplies to the wounded in the hospital in Chengdu," she said.

"It was the most fulfilling and rewarding experience, and how people helped and supported each other really helped me."

Since moving to Auckland, she had volunteered with the Confucius Institute, Walking Stars night marathon and Chinese Language Network events.

"It will be great if I can also be part of Auckland's biggest sporting event," He said.

Unlike the Olympics, athletes represent themselves and not their country in the Games.

Registrations for competitors are now open, and more than half of the athletes are expected to come from overseas.

Volunteer requirements

• Be at least 17 years old as at Dec 31, 2016
• Be available for:
• At least four volunteer shifts from April 21-30, 2017
• An in-person interview held in Auckkand or Waikato
• Attend training in March/April 2017

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 02 Oct 2016 00:17:54 Processing Time: 492ms