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  1. #1
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    Volunteering at Worlds 2013

    I am considering sending in an application for volunteering at the 2013 Worlds in London. I'm just wondering if anyone has ever volunteered at a skating event and would mind sharing their experiences. What were the pros of volunteering? The cons?

    The FAQ on the official website does say that you won't be able to watch the competition while volunteering, but if you have bought tickets for an event they will work with you to not schedule you during that event.

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    The pros are that it's really interesting to see how a big event like this works, and you get to meet very interesting people (not just skaters). The cons are that you might not have too much choice in what you get to do, and that some people at these events don't think volunteers are too important or are worth treating nicely. Even though the event could not happen without them!

    Speaking from my own experience, I would first look at how much time you're expected to volunteer vs. how much you're able to give, and decide if you can make that investment. I see the FAQ says that volunteers able to work 50 hours or more will be given priority in the selection process, and you're also expected to be available for the entire set-up period as well as the dates of the event itself. That's a pretty significant commitment. If you're not able to commit fully to either of those conditions, it looks like you can still apply, but you might have less chance of being chosen.

    Many people who apply to volunteer at these events IME are mainly interested in the positions that get them on TV and/or where they get to interact with the skaters. There are lots of volunteer positions that don't involve either of these things but which are still fun and interesting. Your chances of getting chosen as a volunteer might increase if you say you are interested in doing a job that isn't high profile or isn't in the arena.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    Here is the official info with requirements:
    http://worlds2013.ca/volunteer/index.html
    It can be fun but it is a lot of work and taken very seriously. You probably wouldn't see as much of the competition as you would like.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ngcskate View Post
    I am considering sending in an application for volunteering at the 2013 Worlds in London. I'm just wondering if anyone has ever volunteered at a skating event and would mind sharing their experiences. What were the pros of volunteering? The cons?

    The FAQ on the official website does say that you won't be able to watch the competition while volunteering, but if you have bought tickets for an event they will work with you to not schedule you during that event.
    My friend volunteered in 2003. She said she got to watch the dance practice sessions. It probably depends on what activity you are assigned to. If you have a choice try to find an activity inside the arena.

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    I volunteered at Worlds in Calgary in 2006. I recall that we weren't able to watch practices and events when we weren't volunteering, but we were allowed to attend the gala. The position I ended up getting was "security," which mostly worked out great. I ended up being stationed at ice level near the on-gate for a number of practices and mens qualifying, so got to see a lot of skating up close. For the dance final, I was dressing room security, which was neat because I got to see the skaters warming up (including DenStas and Dubreil/Lauzon), but I wasn't able to see any of the actual skating.

    My schedule was flexible because I was a student at the time, and I ended up with a few 6am shifts, which just about killed me. I would volunteer again, but only for positions that would put me close to the skaters or ice. (We were able to write down our preferences for types of volunteer jobs.) I've been involved with enough skating events throughout my life that that's the only real perk for me at an event of this scale.

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    I volunteered at Worlds in LA in 2009. It was a great experience. I had several different assignment possibilities but I chose transportation because it was located at Staples Center right by skater's security and the backstage area so everyone, their coaches, their mothers etc came by us. We met them all.
    The other transportation station was in the hotel which was not as good for having my partners spot me so I could watch Tomas Verner or Brian Joubert for a minute or two, but many skaters and coaches wandered in to confirm their airport van and were happy to chat etc. I have to say that the biggest divas were the Eastern European coaches.
    During our breaks at Staples we could sit in the front row at practices etc if there were seats and we did. My 8 hour shifts were done at 9 so I could grab any empty seat to enjoy the rest of the evening or I could come early to watch as well. It's true that you are there to work and you don't get to see as much skating as you might like; some assignments work better for this than others.
    For me, it was great to meet other volunteers some of whom were current or former skaters or just people who like the sport. They came from as far away as Canada to help out and be a part of it all. The entire event was well organized and I was sorry when it ended.
    I hope you decide to volunteer; I would do it again.
    Last edited by Helenista; 04-12-2012 at 09:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by luna_skater View Post
    I ended up with a few 6am shifts, which just about killed me.
    My earliest shift was 4am, beat that.

    I've only volunteered at the 2010 olympics so I don't know how it stacks up against Worlds and GP events. (I would've volunteered at Four Continents, except ticket prices were too reasonable to pass up attending as a spectator).

    Cons:
    - Long hours (I think my longest shift was 10 hours. I know there was a 12 hour shift scheduled that I avoided by having the sense to unselect my availability during that shift).
    - Not knowing in advance if you were going to be working outside (this was randomly determined at the start of the shift).

    Pros:
    - I actually got to see some skating while doing 'usher' duties. And just the general thrill of spotting skaters you recognise when they pass you in the non-ice areas of the venue.

    Maybe you're being told outright you can't watch anything because the JLC staff will be there to usher?

  8. #8
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    I have volunteered at several national and international sporting events and the major cons are the hours that you give up and typically will not get to see your favourite skating events.. For this worlds you really need to give up 2 weeks of your time .. you also need to realize you will likely not actually see any skating - its not like sectionals or even nationals.. ISU international events are different..

    I only saw a few events at my last major international ISU event but I did get to support and help the teams and athletes and for me as the parent of a former national athlete and being involved in sports professionally - I really enjoy the 'back of the house' experience.. as I'm not really a 'uber' for any particular event or athlete.. I may have not got to see many of the athletes skate - but I enjoyed helping them in other areas..

    Sometimes you can get nice 'kits' too.. but with all the financial cutbacks not as nice as Olympics gear or some other sporting events.. It can also be quite amusing.. especially if your involved with the 'media types'.. as they are often involved with these boards too Although if you do end up volunteering its very important to be discreet and confidential..
    Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist

    "Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011

  9. #9
    GPF Barcelona here I come
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    Quote Originally Posted by star_gazer11 View Post
    My earliest shift was 4am, beat that.

    Maybe you're being told outright you can't watch anything because the JLC staff will be there to usher?
    I have done 4am shifts.. and yes I would expect that JLC staff will be ushers like at Skate Canada.. so not like sectionals or nationals.. volunteers will all be BOH.. so don't expect to see much..
    Thanks to PI .. I discovered I'm actually a Nontheist

    "Love is better than Anger, Hope is better than fear" Jack Layton 1950-2011

  10. #10

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    I volunteered at 2003 Worlds in DC. No 4 AM shifts, but a few 6 AM.

    Mostly I was patching ice at practices. They wanted people who skate for that job, to be more likely to have good enough balance for walking on the ice without falling. Although I did fall once, during the resurface for the main arena during the exhibition, since they used two zambonis and had to cross wet ice to get to the exit.

    I had all-event tickets, but I gave away my pairs tickets and women's qualifier tickets to volunteer at the practice rink during those events.

    So it worked out for me -- I got to see a lot of skating either in competition (using the tickets I paid for) or in practice (including Joannie Rochette attempting triple axels).

    Other tasks might be away from the rinks but give more opportunity to interact with skaters. Or not. Depends what you end up getting assigned to.

  11. #11

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    I volunteered at the Skate Canada Senior Grand Prix in Kitchener. I staffed the skater lounge. That was a fun position because you got to meet all the skaters and many of their coaches. It was also possible to sneak out to watch your favorite skater compete at that particular event as the lounge was close to the ice surface.

    We were allowed to watch any events we weren't scheduled for from any free seat so I got to see pretty much anything I really wanted to. A bonus perk was finding out that Kurt Browning was practicing on one of the other rinks in the building and being able to run over and watch him. About four of us went over to watch and he stopped to chat with us. It was actually a lot of fun!

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