The call is out for more than 500 volunteers to ensure the seamless operation of Audi quattro Winter Games NZ 2015, which are billed as one of the world’s top five winter sports events, and this year showcase stars of the Sochi Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
Volunteers Manager Heather McClintock said volunteers are needed from 18-31 August (the Games take place from August 21-30) and registrations are now open online.
“We are looking for a team of people to spearhead the event which attracts some of the best athletes in the world to compete in the Southern Lakes region. We can’t run a fixture of this magnitude without strong back-up from a volunteer workforce and we are now looking for as many helpers as possible to work both on and off the snow.”
Roles range from working at mountain events at Coronet Peak, Cardrona Alpine Resort and Snow Farm NZ to helping out at the curling competition in Naseby or assisting the administration and media teams.
“There are also many jobs related to the running of the downtown festival programme in both Queenstown and Wanaka. We provide specific training for volunteers where necessary and briefing sessions mean everyone is very much in the loop for the work they are assigned,” Heather said.
Some volunteers have signed up for all three previous Games and many have indicated they will be returning again this year.
French-American Justine Mulliez, who this year is working in a social media role with Winter Games NZ, had her introduction to the event as a volunteer in 2013.
“During my three months travelling in New Zealand I made a point of volunteering because I knew that working on such a high-calibre event was an incredible opportunity for professional growth in snowsports event management. The volunteer process focuses on people’s skills and interests, placing you in roles that both play on your strengths and challenge you.”
Wanaka woman Prue Kane, who has volunteered twice for Winter Games NZ, said it was an outstanding event to be part of.
“The organisers are very inclusive and go out of their way to create a strong sense of community amongst everyone involved with the running of the event. They certainly appreciate the long hours many volunteers are required to put into the successful outcome of the Games, and people are well recognised for their efforts.”
Prue considers Winter Games NZ was an excellent environment for meeting new people.
“When I volunteered the first year I had just arrived to live in Wanaka, after being based for a time overseas, and saw the Games as a chance to get to know locals. It certainly paid off and I have made many friends as a result of being involved with the event.”
Winter Games NZ values the contribution so many volunteers have made previously and looks forward to the return of many of the former team this year, Heather said.
“But we also welcome with open arms new folk who are keen to join the team, make new friends, learn some fresh skills and then enjoy the fun and action.”
She said ideally volunteers working on the mountains can be available to work each day of a specific event, which could include training days, qualifiers and finals.
“That way people get to experience the action from start to finish. We have all the alpine and Paralympic events and the spectacular opening night happening at Coronet Peak, snowboard and freeski competition at Cardrona and cross-country competition at Snow Farm. But there are other important roles for people who don’t want to be on snow, particularly in the Games Village hubs in Queenstown and Wanaka, where help is needed organising the daily entertainment and hospitality.”
People who want to register as a volunteer, or learn more about the individual roles, should click here.