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The public face of event volunteering at the 2006 Commonwealth Games The media perspective

Lockstone, L. and Baum, T.G. (2009) The public face of event volunteering at the 2006 Commonwealth Games The media perspective. Managing Leisure, 14. pp. 38-56.

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Volunteers play a major role in mega and major events, both cultural and sporting, contributing invaluable human resources. Frequently described (and, maybe, over-emphasised) as the 'unsung heroes' of such events, relatively little is known about this group of workers when compared with volunteers who give regular and long-term commitment to their area of interest. This paper focuses on media representation and perceptions of volunteering at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The exploratory study adopts an extended timeframe and reports on media representation of volunteers over the full event cycle from recruitment through training and the actual event, concluding with consideration of the Games' aftermath. The findings highlight various positive and negative aspects of the media representation of volunteering at this type of mega event and how this has the potential to influence its public face. Conclusions focus on the implications for the media management of volunteering at major events and suggestions for future research in this area.