A longitudinal study of the volunteers who volunteered at the Rugby World Cup (2011) sought to explore the relationships between motivations, expectations, and experiences of RWC 2011 volunteers and the extent to which the RWC 2011 Volunteer Programme provides a legacy of increased participation in volunteering and sport, and improved employability, workplace-learning orientation and workplace-learning outcomes.
“Although seven out of 10 Rugby World Cup volunteers were already active volunteers, one out of 10 were new to volunteering and the rest were people who had done some volunteer work in the past,” says Dr Karen Smith, Research Director. “About 85 percent of the Rugby World Cup volunteers [of more than 5,500 total volunteers] who said they planned to do more volunteering did in fact go on to do just that and it was the events and sports sectors that benefited from this growth.”
The benefits of volunteering for the Rugby World Cup were numerous, including that the commitment was for a specific time period and that they were involved in an international event of importance to many. A quarter of the volunteers rated their satisfaction with the experience as 7/7, while a fifth said they didn’t experience any low points.
The study didn’t find that volunteering at the Rugby World Cup translated into better workplace innovation, learning orientation or self-perceived employability by volunteers, but the researchers are confident that there were other workplace benefits, unstudied at this time.
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