The first group of volunteers were thrown into the deep end for November’s 2010 Preliminary Draw in Durban and, by all accounts, they passed with flying colours. The LOC says it will start recruiting volunteers across the country in 2008 with a view to providing them with comprehensive training.
The LOC plans to recruit ordinary people and experts in various fields to serve as volunteers. The experts will include medical practitioners, translators, people from the legal fraternity and information technology. And there are also plans to recruit disabled people into the process.
The Umsobomvu Youth Fund is currently in negotiations with the LOC to put 15 000 young people into volunteer programs. In Cape Town, an important pilot project has just been launched. As part of the city’s Tourism Visitor Services Strategy, 14 people have been selected from a database of potential visitor ambassadors.
They have been screened and are undergoing extensive orientation and training in both security and visitor services. It is envisioned that programme will become a sustainable and permanent part of the city’s Visitor Services Platform and 2010 readiness project.
Over the next few months, the spotlight will fall on ordinary South Africans who want to play a role in ensuring that the 2010 World Cup will be the ‘world class’ event that LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan has promised for so long.
Previous World Cup tournaments have demonstrated that volunteer programmes play a vital role in securing the buy-in of the public and ensuring the successful hosting of an event of this magnitude. It will be no different in 2010.