The Salaamteers provided an integral role, leading to the success of the Salaam Cup which would not have been possible without the dedication, enthusiasm and willingness of over 100 volunteers.
The event was growing in size with the substantial number of teams taking part from all over the country, an introduction of a festival and inviting people from various communities. The tournament organisers quickly realised that in order for the event to run efficiently, it required a wealth of volunteers which have been a representation of the community for many years.
The volunteer journey began with compiling a volunteer portal, by asking members of the community to participate and help at the event. At the same time during the planning stage, the organisers identified various roles that were required and created a number of “Functional Areas”.
The Functional Areas included:
Parking: to help assist visitors park their cars in and efficient and effective manner
Visitors Welcome Desk: to provide a warm friendly welcome to spectators
Catering: to set-up, prepare and serve food during breakfast/lunch to all players, managers and volunteers
Spectator Services: supporting spectators and assisting with queries
First Aid: qualified First Aiders assisting players, staff and spectators with any medical requirement
Media Services: assist in taking photographs and writing match reports
Score Desk: receive and record results to provide up-to-date scores and league positions
Pitch Marshals/Runners: register teams, manage the smooth running of games and provide scores to Score Desk
Operations: control the flow of the event under strict time management conditions and setting up trophy presentations
For each Functional Area, a structure was set up. A Core Team Member was assigned to each area together with a Team Leader and a number of Team Members. Team Leaders would be briefed by the Core Team Member and responsible for their Functional Area and the Team Members assigned to that role.
The Organisers wanted to identify the volunteers so that visitors could clearly recognise them. First, a name was created. The name “Salaamteers” represented both the Salaam Cup and volunteers in one word. Then, a physical representation was suggested through a distinctive purple T-shirt, which clearly marked their presence.
Two weeks before the event, the Salaamteers were invited to a site visit at Harefield Academy. This was to brief them of the schedule of events, familiarise them with the venue and introduce them to their Functional Area. It gave the Salaamteers an insight and an opportunity to meet their Core/Team Leaders in their Functional Areas and go through their specific roles and tasks.
WhatsApp Groups for each Functional Area were set up to provide Salaamteers with updates and information leading up to the day.
Closer to the event, Salaamteers were invited to help with setup of the event. Many had turned up the evening before and helped set up the Functional Areas, Registration, Signage and banners, Kitchen, Players Lounge and Pitch set up.
On the day of the event, Salaamteers arrived early and registered through the Volunteer Check-in Desk, where they were provided with their T-shirt, name badge and wrist band. After check-in, they made their way to their Functional Area for a briefing with their Team Leader in readiness for the day ahead.
During a long and hot day, Salaamteers’ representation and distinction made them approachable by any member of the public attending the event and they performed their task professionally and diligently. Salaamteers communicated with their Team Leaders throughout and worked well as a team showing confidence and enthusiasm in their roles. They also motivated players and engaged with the spectators.
Together they showed why volunteering is the backbone of any successful event. The Salaamteers were one of the beacons of the tournament.
Core Team Member