Proud to be British : an autoethnographic study of working as a Games maker at London 2012 / Debbie Sadd

Sadd, Debbie

This autoethnographic study of working as a Games Maker at London 2012 demonstrates the motivational challenges behind volunteering for an event nearly 2 years in the future and the issues this causes. The task of keeping 70,000 international volunteers motivated over a long time frame, while not providing any financial incentive, was a huge risk and investment; yet, the response from athletes, media, and the general public when the Games ended was that the Games Makers were a vital part of the success of London 2012. This study shows how the initial stages of the volunteer program suggest that even though the author was preselected, the generic training, primary knowledge exchange, and pre-Games engagement were potential demotivators. It was only once that the role-specific and venue training were undertaken, that the volunteer enthusiasm returned. This study follows a personal journey of one such volunteer. The article modifies Bang and Chelladurai's original motivational pull theory, by arguing through an autoethnographic study, that motivations will change over the timescale of the volunteer experience and involvement. It does this in contrast to previous studies that have favored quantitative methods, with data collected at one point in time, as opposed to this study, which captures motivation over a 24-month period.

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