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Koutrou, Niki
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: H
Volunteers, who donate to the best of their abilities, their time and efforts, for achieving the organizational goals of an Olympic Games Organizing Committee, have in recent years become a vital part of the human resources required for the effective staging of the Olympic Games. Furthermore, volunteers are often seen as the 'soft infrastructure' following the legacy plans of host nations aiming to stage the Olympic Games (Solberg & Preuss, 2007). Despite the significance of volunteers for the delivery of the Olympic Games, research on Olympic volunteers’ motivations, characteristics and experiences is still limited (Giannoulakis et al., 2008; Bang, Alexandris & Ross, 2009). The purpose of the study was to explore and investigate the characteristics and motives of volunteers at the London 2012 Olympics and examine the factorial structure of the Motivation Scale adapted under this purpose. Data were gathered from a volunteer sample of 163 individuals, who offered their services as volunteer drivers at the Fleet Transport Department during the London 2012 Olympic Games. The 27-item motivation scale demonstrated satisfactory validity and reliability. The five extracted factors (Patriotism and Community values, Love of sport and the Olympics, Interpersonal contacts, Personal Growth, Career Orientation) were well defined and interpreted in terms of the items included. The findings demonstrate that volunteers at the Olympic Games are motivated by a variety of factors, different to those who volunteer at local sporting events or sport clubs, and the impact of these factors may vary considerably from one individual to another. Therefore, this study will enhance event organizers’ understanding of the reasons that initiate volunteers’ involvement with the Games, in order to maximize the value that can be derived from the effective use of their volunteers. It can also enable the host community to adopt effective retention policies after the Games, to further utilize this network of committed and trained individuals, to future community events or organizations, develop social capital and benefit the society in the long term.
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