The Motivational And Demographic Profile Of The Potential Volunteer For The Athens 2004 Olympic Games (og)

Por: Chriastiana Mavrommati e Stella Leivadi.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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An event of the magnitude of the OG in order to succeed needs the involvement of a large workforce of volunteers that
have always been the cornerstone of the development and growth of sports and are also one of the most critical parts of
the overall success of many major sporting competitions (Auld, 1999 [1]; Nesti, 1992 [2]). The idea and practice of
offering work in a voluntary basis is not yet as significantly developed in Greece as it is for instance in other Western
countries (Chelladurai, 1999 [3]; Hedley & Smith, 1992 [4]; Reed & Selbee, 2000 [5]). Moreover, research of this kind
in Greece is very limited. The principal aim of this study was to determine the motivational and demographic profile of
the potential volunteer during the "Athens 2004" OG. Motives of volunteers commonly researched have mostly
included: social contact, to help others, fill time, gain recognition, meet expectations of others, help achieve goals of
organisations, personal achievement, develop skills, have fun and enjoyment and improve self image (e.g. Parker, 1997
[6]). The most recent research of Johnston, et al (1999) [7] proposed 4 typologies for volunteer motivation; purposive,
solidary, external commitments and traditions motives which are the main reasons for sport volunteerism.

A questionnaire divided into 2 parts was used for the purposes of this study. The first part is a 28-item scale developed
by Farrell, Johnston & Twynam (1998) and the second part consists of the sample’s demographic information. The
sample consisted of 634 individuals aged between 15 to 82 years old. Data were randomly gathered from 7 high traffic
underground stations and through telephone interviews. The reliability of the questionnaire was α=.92 and for the 4
factors was: purposive α=.83, solidary α=.87, external traditions α=.75 and commitments α=.81.

The majority of the respondents were between 15 to 30 years old (53.8%), single (59.6%), highly educated (University
and Postgraduate education) and full time employed (61.6%). The four typologies of Farrell, Johnston & Twynam
(1998) were examined and in table 4 below those factors are presented in terms of their mean and standard deviation
values beginning with the factor having the highest mean. It seems that respondents volunteer mainly for purposive
reasons, following solidary, then due to external traditions motives and at the end for commitment motives

The volunteer profile partly agrees with the literature (e.g., Freeman, 1997) [8]. In terms of the motives, the results of
this study coincide with the literature (Caldwell & Andereck, 1994; Farrell, et al, 1998 [9]; Inglis, 1994) [10]. In
preparation for the Athens 2004 OG, this research could help in the most effective and efficient recruitment and
selection of volunteers. This work could also serve educational purposes, helping the younger generation to understand
the importance and need of volunteerism and help creating a socially involved society.

[1] Auld C. (1999). Volunteers, Global Society and the Olympic Movement. Papers of the Symposium held in Lausanne,
24th, 25th and 26th of November 1999.
[2] Nesti, M. (1992). Managing Volunteers. The sports council (South West Region), Recreation Management, The
Human Resource, p.1-8.
[3] Chelladurai, P. (1999). Human Resource Management in Sport & Recreation. USA: Human Kinetics.
[4] Hedley R. & Smith D.J. (1992). Volunteering and Society. UK, London: Bedford Square Press.
[5] Reed, P.B. & Shelbee, L.K. (2000). Volunteering in Canada in the 1990’s: Change and Stasis. A research report by
statistics Canada and Carleton University.
[6] Parker, S. (1997). Volunteering- altruism, markets, causes and leisure. World Leisure and Recreation, 39(3), p. 4-5.
[7] Johnston, M.E. Twynam, G.D. & Farrell, J.M. (1999). Motivation and Satisfaction of Event Volunteers for a Major
Youth Organisation. Leisure/Loisir, 24(1-2), p.161-177, Ontario Research Council for Leisure.

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