Who are Volunteers?
The term “volunteer” refers to a person who helps free of charge. Volunteering at football matches became widely popular during the World Cup 2006 in Germany. Over 13,000 enthusiastic football fans supported the organisation of the matches at the twelve World Cup stadiums. Actively supporting the hosts of the games, the volunteers contributed in many areas and were particularly helpful to the visitors with their advice and assistance.
Royal Blue Volunteers
At a meeting of former FIFA and City World Cup volunteers in June 2007, the idea of establishing a permanent team of volunteers at Schalke home ground was born. In a test period from October to December 2007, a group of around 40 volunteers proved to be successful at major events at the VELTINS-Arena.
In January 2008, the starting signal was given for the first expansion of the volunteer team. The team is comprised for the most part of Schalke supporters from various professional backgrounds and all age groups between 18 and 66 years. Currently, as of January 2017, there are 130 permanent team members. This significant number guarantees the best possible support and assistance during all matches and almost all events at the VELTINS-Arena.
The volunteer team management takes care of the team organisation and coordinates the assignments. In addition, the management supports the training of competent helpers as well the efficient and enjoyable team interaction through various training courses and activities.
Tasks and Goals
The members of the “Information Team” are recognisable by their partly orange-coloured outfit. At the VELTINS-Arena and the outdoor areas, the volunteers are the contact persons for all stadium visitors. They answer questions, help with orientation on site and solve small organisational problems. The volunteers are happy to assist persons with disabilities. They are involved in special operations that occasionally allow a look behind the scenes of the venue.
The group of “drivers” supports the home events of FC Schalke 04 Arena Management GmbH. These volunteers take care of the transportation of participants and guests.
The aim of volunteering at Schalke home ground is to guarantee the good service provided by the club and its subsidiaries in their efforts to ensure the well-being of all visitors to the VELTINS-Arena. The volunteers provide the ideal support for the permanent and temporary employees. They do not take or replace any existing or potential future jobs.
One question always arises in the context of volunteering: Why do the volunteers provide assistance free of charge? As for the most voluntary activities, the focus is on the motivation to provide valuable support.
Whether the volunteers show the way to late visitors, shortly before the kick-off of a football match, or personally assist visitors to find the way to their seats, or help finding lost family members – everywhere the volunteers provide direct assistance and show great commitment.
In addition, there are many personal reasons, such as being outgoing, warm-harted, sociable and enjoying the contact with people and the team work, making new friends and exchanging ideas as well as the opportunity to explore the VELTINS-Arena in a different way and, least but not last, the passion for FC Schalke 04, that gives roots and a shared sense of belonging to many supporters.