Volunteering for the World Cup 2010 in South Africa: some thoughts on poverty & unemployment in the global economy
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Author: Sufian Hemed Bukurura
Elite sports competitions rely heavily on volunteers for their success. Among questions always asked by researchers are why do people volunteer and what do the volunteers get out of it? Several categories of motivation have been identified over time, and empirically tested out and confirmed in various sports competitions, largely held in developed countries. The finals of the Fifa football World Cup in 2010, however, will be held in a developing country, South Africa, with a multitude of unique circumstances, from those we have hitherto been used to. These include: inequality, chronic poverty, unemployment and different kinds of survival strategies unknown in developed countries. Local circumstances aside, Fifa, the proud owner of the World Cup brand, expects the finals to be successfully organised within and around the same stringent requirements, restrictions and profitability as is done elsewhere.
In which way are South African circumstances materially different from those the developed world and how will that influence or affect planning, recruitment, training, management and organisation of volunteers for the World Cup in 2010? In the light of high unemployment and acute poverty, what will be the expectations and motivations of local volunteers? How will the South African local situation affect the day to day work of volunteers? Will the challenges of managing a mixture of volunteers (local, tourist and stipended) be similar to or different from those experienced in developed countries? Irrespective of how one looks at it, our understanding of sports volunteerism in the modern era promises to be significantly enriched by South Africa’s hosting of the finals of the Fifa football World Cup in 2010.
Documentary film, Music and Volunteering