As always, our volunteers were rock-solid and played a key part in the success of the Tradestaff WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup. Around 150 volunteers contributed their time to support the day to day tasks of running the event. 120 volunteers came from the softball community (some travelling from afar), with another 30 having no connection to the game.
Each volunteer signed up with a minimum of 4 shifts, with 2 shifts a day. Shift one was from 11:00am - 4:30pm and the second from 4:00pm - 10:00pm (or when the last game finished). Volunteers had the option to do double or single shifts.
In return for their mighty effort’s volunteers received lunch, dinner, promoters’ products, and tournament merchandise in the form of a cap, sweatshirt, t-shirt, bag and drink bottle.
We threw a few questions at volunteer Bridget Baker (centred in photo above) to gain a greater understanding of her role at the event.
What was your role at the event?
As a North Harbour Softball Association Board representative, I became part of the LOC - Local Organising Committee for the World Cup. During the event, I was basically there to do anything that needed and to support Shanelle, the Tournament Director.
What was sort of tasks did you undertake?
I helped with the odd jobs needing done to prepare the stadium for the World Cup.
I picked up a number several WBSC staff, umpires, and scorers from the airport in the days leading up to the event and took them back to airport following the event.
I helped with ice and water in dugouts, ran errands for the umpires, picked up rental vans, was the WBSC flag bearer a few times, took injured players to A&E and x-ray's, updated the results board, kept the North Harbour Facebook page up to date, helped fix things that needed fixing, drove supporters to the carpark and picked up rubbish.
I would get there about 10.30 - 11am and leave about an hour after the last game... one night it was midnight after the Japan v Australia game.
Being an umpire, I also got to umpire a few of the pre World Cup friendly games, and my highlight was plate umpire for Argentina v USA.
What was your favourite moment as a volunteer?
I really enjoyed working with Shanelle and her brother Aidan. They are amazing, as is their family. I would offer to volunteer for any event they run.
My favourite moment as a volunteer would have to be seeing all the teams walking around signing autographs for the kids and giving out badges. It was such a buzz for all the kids. They were so approachable. It created new sporting heroes for them all.
Also watching the Japan supporters. The little children did not stop supporting their dads until the very last pitched ball. Even in the rain, they kept going.
What did you enjoy most?
Probably just being able to immerse myself into the event. I love softball so I just soaked up every minute I was there. Sometimes I didn't even get to see a game as was getting different jobs done, and other times I would take some time to sit and watch while I ate my meal. The softball was just awesome. So many exciting games. How cool to watch 12 countries/teams each day!
Just a sense of pride that I was part of an amazing team that organised the event. The opportunity doesn't come around that often, so I learnt so much and hopefully when we host the Worlds again, I can be part of the team.
New Zealand Softball were very fortunate to represented by a large contingent of officials over the course of the 9 day event. Congratulations to Tony Kaiaruna, Tracee Topia and Raewyn Clarke who were involved in the gold medal game.
From left to right: Dave Fortin (Umpire), Tony Kaiaruna (Umpire) Lil Natana (Scorer), Lynette Leathart (Technical Control), Tracee Topia (Scorer), Mark Porteous (Umpire), Sharon Williams (Scorer), Raewyn Clarke, Joanne Rata (Technical Control), Carolyn McQueen (Scorer), Lance Brown (Umpire), Wayne Saunders (WBSC Assistant Umpire Director)