“Super” Volunteering: Sporting Events

Who out there is a sports fan, in particular, a football aficionado? If so, perhaps you have volunteered for a sporting event, or was keen enough to travel to volunteer for one? According to news reports, over 10,000 people sign up to volunteer for festivities related to the top American football celebration (Super Bowl!) each year, and this year’s Miami Super Bowl LIV is no exception.

But not all volunteers are local. While most Super Bowl volunteers are from the host city and surrounding areas, many come from other US (and global) communities. Unfortunately we do not have the percentage of (10,000) volunteers who travel to give freely of their time/resources, but we know there are plenty. We noticed on recent Miami Super Bowl Host Committee Facebook posts* that several commenters, who had signed up to be Super Bowl volunteers, appeared to be from out of town. Of these, quite a number of them looked to be repeat Super Bowl volunteers as well.

So what does this all mean? It might mean you are surprised to know that traveling to volunteer may include this thematically-relevant category of sports-event-volunteering. Or it might mean you question why people would pay to fly, stay, and take time off from work to volunteer for such an event in the first place. Regardless of what it might mean to you, this is what we do know. It takes an army of dedicated volunteers to run such a mammoth event, and not all cities have the capacity to provide a workforce of volunteers of this magnitude.

Perhaps you might be astonished to find out this large-scale nonprofit (yes, the NFL is technically a non-profit organisation) provides short-term volunteering opportunities in every hosting city for a few weeks prior to the big game. #giveback. big time. It’s their mission to make sure the cities that host this game benefit from other aspects related to the event, outside the infusion of $$ the event will generate) such as promoting local environmentally-related social projects too. All good stuff.

Next time you are thinking if you might get involved in a sports-specific traveling to volunteer experience such as the Super Bowl, or are simply relaxing and enjoying the big game, imagine all the volunteers that had contributed freely to the event. The ones living there. The ones who travelled to do so, and the ones who’d volunteer to do it over and over again. Ponder on how many volunteering hours that went into the organising and hosting of the give-back experiences. The ones that occurred weeks prior to, and the week of, to benefit the host city and area.

Maybe you are planning to volunteer the next time or maybe you already have. We’d like you to let us know what it was like for you! Drop us a comment below and tell us. AND. Tell us if you’ve volunteered for another sports-related volunteering opportunity, or are planning to do so. Can you now say #iamthiscommunity because you traveled to volunteer for a sports-related event? We hope so!

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*Note: One has to join the Facebook Group to view the Facebook posts. The link provided is to the general website where you can opt into joining Facebook and/or the Group to view the comments.