Fans from around the country will be given the chance to get involved in one of the most prestigious tournaments on the South African football calendar, the 2011 Vodacom Challenge, to help the week-long competition live up to its billing as the Best of the Best!
The volunteer programme for the Vodacom Challenge will see a total of 600 South Africans help with the hosting of the event in the various venue cities, namely Polokwane, Mbombela, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg.
The huge success of the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup Volunteer Programme proved the willingness of South Africans to lend a hand for major sporting events and the arrival of English Premiership giants Tottenham Hotspur to our shores to meet local heroes Orlando Pirates FC and Kaizer Chiefs gives them another opportunity to do so.
Volunteers will once again be asked to help with aiding the media and VIPS, providing on-field assistance, as well as offering directions and information to spectators on match day, providing vital support to the tournament organisers.
Peter McIntosh, who has extensive experience in volunteer programmes, says the aim at the 2011 Vodacom Challenge is the same as any major event, to get local communities involved and assist them in creating a match day experience that they can both enjoy, and be proud of.
“Volunteer programmes at sports events have become a key component in delivering a positive spectator experience because we only choose those people who we believe have the desire, passion and drive to perform excellently on the day and be a credit their communities,” McIntosh says.
“We find that most volunteers find the experience exceptionally rewarding and to be involved in a major international provides them with the opportunity not just to use their skills to promote their community and their country, but also to learn what it takes to weave together these immense logistical challenges.”
“We aim to leave a legacy with volunteers. Within the programme itself, leaders are identified and grown. The training offers life and customer service skills that the volunteers are encouraged to make use of in other areas of their lives. Many volunteers have commented that the last event gave built their confidence and that the experience was invaluable.”
The 2011 Vodacom Challenge starts in Polokwane at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on Saturday, 16 July (15h00 kick-off), when Kaizer Chiefs take on Tottenham Hotspur, before Orlando Pirates get the opportunity to take on the visiting English team at the Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on Tuesday, 19 July (20h15).
The annual Vodacom Challenge Soweto Derby will be held at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, 21 July (20h15).
And the grand finale, involving Tottenham Hotspur and winner of the Port Elizabeth fixture will take place at Coca-Cola Park in Johannesburg on Saturday, 23 July (15h00).
Match tickets can be purchased from all Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers and Checkers Hyper outlets nationwide and once again prices have been determined with the fans in mind, and start from R50 for all matches.