Conducting a Special Small-Scale Sporting Event: What Motivates People to Volunteer In a Small City?

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Purpose/Rationale: Volunteers of special events have been cited as being unlike volunteers at other events. Moreover, little is known regarding why people volunteer at small-scale sports events in small cities. Building on the four volunteer factors developed by Farrell et al. (1998. Volunteer motivation, satisfaction, and management at an elite sporting competition. Journal of Sport Management, 12(4), 288–300. doi:10.1123/jsm.12.4.288), the concepts of communitas and liminality as well as age and gender differences, this study sought to examine the motivations of sport volunteers in the context of a small-scale special sports event.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Descriptive statistics were used to report the results. Additionally, MANOVA’s were used to determine if any differences existed between the gender or age and any of the four factors identified in the Special Event Volunteer Motivation Scale (SEVMS).

Findings: The results indicated a purposive sense of community and sharing similar experiences, community meaningfulness, sense of togetherness, and satisfaction from the development of personal relationships and interactions from the volunteer experience were important reasons to volunteer at small-scale sports events.

Practical Implications: The results of this study can be utilized by practitioners responsible for small-scale sports events for volunteer recruitment.

Research Contribution: The present study also explored the SEVMS within the context of small-scale, special events, which has been underexplored using this scale.

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Managing Sport and Leisure

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