Volunteering and the Olympic Games: an emotional matter

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Many are the publications that can be found about the planning, historical development, economic, social, and environmental impacts and well as the legacies by hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Minnaert, 2012; Zhou & Ap, 2009). Volunteering has also been a topic discussed in many studies about Mega Events (Fairley et al., 2007; Nichols & Ralston, 2011). The selection and training of volunteers for Mega Events were also of previous academic studies (Zhuang & Girginov, 2012). However not much has been studied about the emotional preparation and management of volunteers. This paper offers contributions to academia as well as to the tourism, events, hospitality and leisure industries, by discussing the emotions and emotional management of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games volunteers. More specifically this research explored the emotions and feelings of volunteers during the 2012 London Games as well as their emotional return to daily life. Questionnaires during the Olympic Games and after the Paralympic Games and observation during the Olympic Games were used as methods for data collection. Results show that volunteering at the Games can be a relevant and exciting experience but can also cause emotional issues such as confusion between volunteer role and the volunteer-self. The research concludes suggesting a new approach and actions to be taken by events managers in order to reduce the emotional costs of volunteering and enhance the positive experience.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventSummer Conference of the Leisure Studies Association 2014: Sport, Festivity and Digital Cultures - University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jul 20149 Jul 2014
http://www.leisurestudies.org/lsa-events (Conference website.)
https://issuu.com/uniwestofscotland/docs/lsa_conference_booklet_2014 (Conference programme.)
https://issuu.com/uniwestofscotland/docs/lsa_conference_booklet_2014 (Conference Programme)


ConferenceSummer Conference of the Leisure Studies Association 2014
Abbreviated titleLSA 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
OtherLSA 2014, Sport, Festivity and Digital Cultures brings together comparative and contrasting perspectives upon both the digital age in leisure and upon digital practices as leisure - as prevalent in cultural forms, such as sport or festivity and other leisure pursuits. The conference takes place in a particularly important year for both Scotland and the global sporting and cultural communities. Scotland plays host to the XXth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup in 2014 at Gleneagles. Culturally, 2014 also marks the second “Year of Homecoming”, encouraging the successors of the global Scottish diaspora to return home for a year of cultural “extravaganza and festivity.
Internet address


Dive into the research topics of 'Volunteering and the Olympic Games: an emotional matter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this