Volunteer relishes prospect

JONATHAN MCKEOWN
Last updated 12:00 05/04/2014
Cricket World Cup volunteer Toni Chittenden
TAKING GUARD: Cricket World Cup volunteer Toni Chittenden is relishing the chance to meet people from around the world.

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Toni Chittenden is looking forward to being a small cog in the giant wheel of Cricket World Cup 2015.

About 220 volunteers will help to make Nelson's three Cricket World Cup games a success. Across Australia and New Zealand, 4000 volunteers are needed for a variety of roles.

These span eight programme areas including accreditation, commercial and sponsor servicing, event operations, media and broadcast operations, spectator and fan services, transport, VIP and hospitality, and workforce.

Yet, while the action on the pitch will captivate more than a billion fans starting next February, Chittenden said she was more enthusiastic about the people involved than who is in form in the middle.

"I don't think it is important to be an expert in cricket to be a volunteer.

"If you are passionate about New Zealand and love representing Nelson, then volunteer because this is our opportunity to show our region to the world. If you are an outgoing, friendly person these people want to meet genuine Kiwis, and I think I could do that."

Chittenden said she had such a great experience volunteering when the Rugby World Cup came to Nelson in 2011, she had no hesitation signing up straight away to be a part of Nelson's CWC 2015 volunteer workforce.

"If you want something exciting in your life, to get away from the humdrum boring job, then it is great. A lot of employers actually will give you time off to volunteer. And, you get to meet amazing people from all around the world and meet people from all walks of life."

Nelson is one of 14 host cities for the tournament in New Zealand and Australia. Nelson will host three pool games with some genuine stars of the international game on show. Saxton Oval is the venue, with the West Indies returning to the ground to play Ireland. Zimbabwe play recent qualifiers United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh take on ICC Cricket World Cup qualifying champions Scotland.

World Cup New Zealand boss Therese Walsh said big events did not get off the ground without volunteers.

"Volunteers are in many cases the face of the tournament for fans, media and officials. It's a great way for Kiwis to be involved in the Cricket World Cup and help showcase the rich diversity of our communities and our ability to be great hosts," said Walsh.

"We want volunteers to get the most out of their ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 experience and hopefully use it as a springboard for new opportunities - whether it's volunteering in their local area or opening the door to a career."

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Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said she hoped Nelson would take advantage of the opportunity to be involved with a truly global event.

"One billion cricket fans will watch Cricket World Cup next year, and a million fans will attend," said Reese. "We're building the Nelson team that will make it all happen on the ground. If you're keen, Nelson, I strongly encourage you to give it a go as this is a fantastic once in a lifetime opportunity - register to volunteer."

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 will run from February 14 to March 29 in Australia and New Zealand. Tickets to all matches are available for purchase. Volunteers must be 18 years or older to apply. Successful candidates will be interviewed in May.

Interested people can apply at:

cricketworldcup.comvolunteers

- The Nelson Mail

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