Do you have dreams of going surfing and cycling all over the country without having to care for the money? Are you a sports enthusiast but are time bound or with financial limitations? Here’s a way you can tackle both problems – look at volunteering at all the upcoming adventure sports and outdoor festivals around the country. 2019 is packed with outdoor and sporting events and festivals that welcome volunteer support. Here’s a lowdown on all you can choose from.
“Volunteering cannot be explained in words until you have experienced it. It is an amazing experience and I have learnt a lot in a span of a week. There are situations wherein you have to take a tough call and it should be right. It is fun and adventurous and you even get to travel to different places.”
– Srivatsan G. was the Hospitality volunteer at Tour of Nilgiris 2019
Volunteering at an outdoor or sports event is an epic opportunity to get to know yourself and your abilities. It keeps you off your daily rut and makes you feel alive again. Being so close to sporting legends is an added perk. Besides, you can be a part of the epic events across the globe. India’s outdoor sporting events like the Ganga Kayak Festival, India Surf Festival, The Tour of Nilgiris require an army of active volunteers to help them run the show.
Keep In Mind Before Volunteering
The time spent while volunteering at any of these championships or festivals will be a whole new experience. Being more specific about the skill-set you can provide will add to your basic day-to-day tasks on the job.
“How TFN works on a daily basis is, TFN covers a distance between 130-150 kms everyday in some of the most remote locations where many times there is no access to phone connectivity, network and data. So we at TFN empower volunteers to take decisions based on whatever need that is there and back them up in whatever decision they have taken. A lot of trust and capacity building is provided to a lot of volunteers and they keep reaching the benefits of really good decision making that volunteers bring. Additionally, they are taught that it is not something that we plan but something that happens because we are so involved in it, they also have a sense of ownership for the event. They make TFN a part of their own event, something that they have to uphold. It’s a very enduring activity when they start looking at it that way. For TFN how it helps is I have really capable people who are taking care and providing the best experience to every participant on the tour simply because of things like these. There is no delay in decision making, there is no delay in taking care or providing their best support and I think that’s where volunteers actually provide the immense value,” says Karthik Ponnapa one of the core organisers of The Tour of Nilgiris.
You can take a break from your 9×5 job, travel the world, make new friends and learn so much. As a volunteer, you can help with organising and managing of the event and your role could be anything from handling social media to ushering the champions to their games to even being the ball boy/girl during the event. You could also help in event logistics, registrations, hospitality, social media and more. Volunteers are needed for things like stewarding, driving, transporting things to and fro, looking after the athletes, maintaining protocol at award ceremonies and more.
You enhance your skills and sharpen your knowledge right from the event preparations to the end day. It is a fun experience with a lifetime of memories and friends.
“Volunteers fill in the position of need. They are the backbone of an event. It’s their hard work and support that results in a good event. Young people with vibrant energy enlightens not only the event but also the morale of the participants. One of our volunteer was so inspired by the sport she did a duathlon last year and will be participating in a triathlon too. It is a challenging experience but the end result is all their hard work.”
– Ronald Fernandes, Partner and Volunteer Head at Enduro Sports Goa Triathlon
Where Can You Start
The procedure begins with filling the registration form available on the websites of the respective sporting events or outdoor festivals; and if not that then writing a mail to the organisers personally. Post that, either you get a reply mail or a call giving you further details. Sometimes a panel interview is conducted in order to know more about you and the specific role you can be assigned for the event. Once you are selected, you are briefed about the schedule of how the live volunteering process will be pursued. Most importantly, you also get the training of how to gel and mingle with your role models at the championships.
So now if you aren’t an athlete, not a spectator but still want to be a part of your favourite sport or an outdoor activity; you can do that by reserving your place as a volunteer and gain the opportunity of being one of the spokes in the wheel of a great sporting event. It’s just a click away. By volunteering for such events you get to witness the whole championship up close – which indeed is a great experience over all.
Outdoor Events to Volunteer
Indian Mountaineering Foundation is organizing the 3rd Edition of the Indian Adventure Films Festival on 9th and 10th Feb 2019 in Delhi.
The Adventure Sports Society is organizing Ganga Kayak Festival 2019 from 17th -19th February 2019. It provides a platform for kayakers to showcase their skills on a competitive level. The event takes place in Rishikesh.
Enduro Sports Goa is organizing The Goa Swimathon 2019 from 23rd – 24th March 2019. It is one of India’s largest open water swimathons.
Jellyfish Watersports in association with Clean Rivers Initiative is organizing the Chaliyar River Challenge 2019 from 20th-22nd September 2019. It is a kayaking expedition at Chaliyar, one of the gorgeous rivers of India at Calicut.
Covelong Point Surf School founder Murthy Megavan is organizing the next Covelong Point Festival 2019 from 23-24th August 2019. A surf, music and yoga festival held at Kovalam, Chennai.
Goodwave Adventure with the support of Kerela Tourism is organizing the Malabar River Festival 2019 from 18-21st July 2019. A white water kayaking festival in the South of India that calls many paddlers to compete on Iruvanjhipuzha and Chalipuzha Rivers in Kerela.
Deepak Majipatil and Karthik Ponnapa founders of Tour of Nilgiris are organizing Tour of Nilgiris 2019 from 15th-22nd December 2019. It is one of the most challenging cycling tours in India and one of the best in Asia held every year starting from Karnataka.
If you’d like to share with us other such outdoor sporting events that you have volunteered at and your experience, do write in to us at [email protected]