Since 1995, the European Mountain Running Championships have been held yearly on courses with varying degrees of difficulty. In 2018, the Championship was held in Skopje, Macedonia. The event was organized by the Athletic Federation of Macedonia. This was the second time the city of Skopje hosted a major continental athletics competition. The first time was in 2014 when the city held the European 10,000m Cup.
NR Sports Volunteering Solutions was the main facilitator of the Volunteer Program for the 2018 European Mountain Running Championships in Skopje, Macedonia. The consultancy team played an instrumental role in the conceptualization of the volunteer strategy, the development, planning, and implementation of the volunteer program recruitment & training, the development of the volunteer guide, and ultimately the operationalization on the ground. NR Sports Volunteering Solutions managed the overall volunteers during the event and established a volunteering legacy.
During the planning stages, NR Sports Volunteering Solutions defined and generated job descriptions, identified possible volunteers’ numbers needed for the event, and assigned activities for resources based on the goals that had been established.
Because the Volunteer culture in sport is not well-known or developed in the host country, NR SVS concentrated on developing the most effective methods to reach potential volunteers and establishing the Event’s Values on the ground to maximize participation.
NR SVS developed the Volunteer Guide during this phase. This guide played a crucial role for the Volunteers since it acted as a navigational tool throughout the project from recruitment to implementation.
Understanding the motives of the volunteers to participate in the event allowed a targeted recruitment strategy with a specific goal in mind. The second process of Screening and Selection consisted of verifying previous work experience and conducting background checks. It was critical to the success of the project to assign the right volunteer to their specific role and tasks.
As a result of a variety of historical and socio-economic factors, the majority of which are financial in nature, Macedonia is a country where volunteering culture had not yet been significantly developed. For this reason, NR Sports Volunteering Solutions placed a strong emphasis on the training process of volunteers, both in terms of their positions and, equally important, their behavior during the event.
To achieve these goals, NR SVS used observational research techniques to understand the local volunteer culture. Based on the finding, the Team developed an adapted volunteer guide and training that bridged the cultural gap.
A system was implemented to manage the volunteers’ performance, provide feedback, and facilitate problem-solving.
NR Sports Volunteering Solutions attracted more than 170 volunteers at the European Mountain Running Championships in Skopje, Macedonia.
The implementation process increased volunteers’ satisfaction with their experience in the event. Additionally, the volunteer management system in place reduced the time that the management team required to respond to issues during the event.
The legacy program created was used by the organizers, the Athletic Federation of Macedonia, at future events that they organized since.