Call goes out for RWC 2011 Volunteers
• Recruitment drive for more than 5,000 volunteers gets underway
• Nationwide Volunteer Roadshow to take place over June and July
• Rugby legend Michael Jones named RWC 2011 Volunteer Ambassador
Recruitment is about to start for the more than 5,000 volunteers needed to host the thousands of international and local visitors who will enjoy Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) when the Tournament kicks-off in September next year.
Prime Minister John Key today launched the RWC 2011 Volunteer Programme at the Petone Rugby Club in Wellington.
"RWC 2011 is a priceless opportunity to showcase New Zealand to the world and our volunteers will play a big part in making sure we as a country put our best foot forward.
"Their role is important as they will be the friendly, welcoming face of the Tournament."
Tournament Organiser Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) will next week begin a nationwide roadshow to recruit volunteers to work in a variety of roles both within stadia and outside in towns and cities across New Zealand.
"We want visitors to leave with the very best memories of their time here so it is important we find the right volunteers as they will be a powerful advertisement for New Zealand," said Mr Key.
Michael Jones, one of the New Zealand's greatest Rugby stars - a member of the RWC 1987 winning New Zealand team and former coach of Manu Samoa - was today unveiled as the face of the Volunteer Programme.
"It is a great honour to be the Volunteer Ambassador. I accepted this role because I want to encourage New Zealanders to see for themselves the value of volunteering and I hope the experience inspires many to carry on volunteering in the community.
"As a player I couldn't have achieved what I did without the tireless support of so many unpaid, enthusiastic people who turned up to help me train and play, who maintained the clubrooms, who made the tea and sliced the oranges - they all made a difference.
"I know RWC 2011 Volunteers will make a real difference to the smooth running of this Tournament. But we are asking a lot from them. Like great Rugby players, great volunteers must be team players, dedicated, hard working and passionate."
Volunteers have been a critical ingredient in the success of many major sporting events in recent decades including previous Rugby World Cups and the Olympics. RWC 2011 Volunteers will perform a variety of roles from the backrooms of stadia assisting with catering, sports presentation and ceremonies to helping visitors at hotels, Fan Zones and at transport hubs.
"We need the best people in all these roles if this Tournament is to be a success," said RNZ 2011 CEO Martin Snedden.
"This is also about more than just Rugby. Volunteers will play an important role in helping visitors enjoy New Zealand beyond just the matches as they experience the array of RWC 2011 Festival events that will be wrapped around the Tournament.
"In fact, we need all New Zealanders to be great hosts to our visitors wherever they encounter them and RWC 2011 Volunteers will lead the way."
International Rugby Board (IRB) Chairman Bernard Lapasset reinforced the importance of a successful volunteer programme.
"Rugby is all about team work and the successful delivery of a tournament of this scale could not be possible without a team of dedicated volunteers, delivering the full range of services from ticketing, and media services to team and VIP services. Each volunteer will have a key role to play in ensuring a memorable experience for the global Rugby family."
Public forums to explain the RWC 2011 Volunteer Programme will begin in Dunedin on June 14 and end in Tauranga on July 14. All potential volunteers are strongly advised to attend a forum to learn more about what will be required of RWC 2011 Volunteers.
Further information is available at www.rugbyworldcup.com/volunteer.