The Legacy: The Motivation and Retention of London 2012 Olympic Volunteers
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Volunteers are integral to the sport industry and central to the successful staging of many global mega-events (Doherty, 1998; Khoo, 2003; Cornelissen, 2008). The current study acknowledged the distinct gap in existing literature on volunteer retention, and concentrates on the impact that the London 2012 Olympic legacy had on its volunteers’ motivations and volunteering 'career'. After interviewing respondents all having volunteered at London 2012 (n = 6), the researcher explored the motivations and satisfaction of the volunteers as well as the subsequent effect this had on their retention. Both altruistic and utilitarian reasons explained motivations for volunteering at London 2012, such as 'wanting to make the Games a success' and for 'personal growth'. However the success of the Olympic voluntary legacy appears limited due to the lack of a clear post Games retention strategy (House of Commons, 2013). Relevant comparison with Sochi 2014 is drawn upon to gain perspective with a current Olympic Games, whilst implications for volunteer management strategies are discussed. Principally, these consisted of beginning the retention process before an event concludes, as well as tailoring recruitment messages to specific and proven motivations to why people volunteer. The study revealed areas requiring future research within mega-event volunteer retention, including analysis of the recruitment of London 2012 volunteers at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and a follow up study of the utilisation of a newly recruited voluntary workforce in Russia after Sochi 2014
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT DEVELOPMENT
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