--The volunteer marketing was well done. I read several articles in local newspapers, and saw (and posted) flyers in parks, coffee shops, etc. --The volunteer sign-up online was very well designed, and easy to navigate. The followup emails from the signup system, indicating what shifts one had signed up for, gave me confidence in the system as well. -- I enjoyed working with the LOC office staff and interns who were very professional, welcoming and friendly. -- I enjoyed working with volunteers onsite at the Games. It was fun to hear the perspectives of younger volunteers on "seniors". I like their energy! -- I think Bonnie Luftig, head of Volunteers, did a terrific job soliciting volunteers, organizing the shifts, and tracking volunteers on site. Thank you!
I have to say that my experience throughout my entire involvement with the 2009 National Senior Games / NSGA was exceptional. I had the privelege and the honor of announcing the swimming events portion of the Games for 5 days straight. It was, to say the very least, exhilerating!!! It must've taken me 2-3 days to come down to Earth from such a memorable and special experience. To witness heats of swimmers / competitors in their 90', 80', 70's, 60's and 50's was truly amazing and exciting. And, to see the enthusiastic encouragement, joy, the cheerful exuberance and support of the community at large for one another brought me to tears in many a deeply heartfelt moment. We were inspired by a wonderful couple, a pastor and her husband. She is legally blind and he is her steadfast support / cheerleader, as she swam and competed in 3 events during the course of days. I got to work with friends as a team, as well as, other wonderful Volunteers. Thanks, so very much to the 2009 National Senior Games, to Ann Cribbs, to Bonnie Luftig and her stalwart team for their dedication and good works in putting this 'party' on; job well done. Congratulations, one and all!!! Kindest regards - David "The Announcer Guy" Wierdsma
It was my first time volunteering with the Senior Games and quite positive! I helped out at the Athletic Registration and then was the volunteer Lead for volleyball. With the exception of one athlete, I enjoyed meeting folks from all over the nation. I was glad that there was a well representation of volunteers - including young junior high and high schoolers. We all agreed that the venue was much more enjoyable than we thought it would be. How can you not get inspired when you see a 94 year old athlete pole vaulting? I'll be happy if I can just jog when I'm that age, let alone compete! After two full weeks, I'm happy to say that I've met new friends. Overall I had a great time. I could tell the Senior Games was well organized even just from the online registration for volunteers. I just wish I would have signed up before a lot of the popular events were already filled. Many thanks to Bonnie L. for providing *extras so I could pass the goodies to my volunteers. -KimChi
Joining the volunteer group to help in the cycling events has been one of the most unforgetable experience in my life. I met a young lovely woman working with me in controling the road crossings.and I thought what interest can she have to spent her time watching old folks strugle.I also met the 80- year old granmother that won the senior event and could not hold the tears ,when she was surrounded by the family of children and granchildren at the finish line. I am taking great memories from this experience and want thank the organization that provided me with the opportunity to be of help. I plan to be in the senior games for cycling in 2011.
I was very inspired by the kind of people I came across in this event, both the athletes and the volunteers. There were lots of old people running the 5K road race in a time I couldn't believe. It was nice to see friends and family turning up to cheer the group(also very emotional). I didn't have to do much in Volleyball so I would have preferred to have volunteered with something else where my time could have been put to good use. Overall I couldn't have asked for anything better
I played in the games, and volunteered for racketball. The staff director was great Leonard Neummann? Things went off without much trouble, and he hade all the answers. I didn't see the necessity for the orientation either - no names taken, but they did hand out the book. I pd $10 for parking, but never found the (vulunteer) parking/free. Overall, a pleasant expedrience with co-workers and atheletes alike. BBJ
I volunteered 7 shifts in swimming, pole vault, high jump, volleyball and athletes celebration. As enjoyed volunteers service in Beijing Olympics I was very excited to have this opportunity to serve people. After saw 93 years old lady swam I reset my goal - able to swim butterfly when I am 93. All athletes showed positive life attitude and active competition spirit. Also they made unbelievable results. I have been inspiring since then. What I learned from them will benefit whole my life. For sure I will be one of athletes in Senior Games. A little thing need to be improved: overload volunteers in some events some days, such as swimming, volleyball; in last couple of days loose management; volunteer leaders should be trained more. Overall, it is a great, life-memorized experience. I met many nice people – athletes and volunteers. Thanks all volunteers, all athletes and their families.
as a swimming lap counter I was really impressed with the older female athletes who participated enthusiastically despite their relative speeds. At the race walking venue there were too many of us volunteers so we just relaxed and enjoyed the scene. Irwin Roth
I was a volunteer at the Senior Games for 2 shifts in the athlete registration area. My job was to greet the arriving athletes and if there was a line to register at the table where the computer-savy volunteers were operating, to organize the line. From my perspective, the volunteer cadre was well organized. It was enjoyable for me to give the arriving athletes a friendly greeting and direct them to the registration table. Many arrived after a long journey looking dazed and confused. It seemed to reassure them that all was well, they were in the right place and to be greeted and directed to the registration table. It was inspiring to see the senior athletes from all over the country who were so excited to participate in this event. My only suggestion for improvement is that there could have been better signage on campus. Many athletes were very confused about how to find what they were looking for. Also there was a big confusion about parking--who could park in which lot-- and athletes were upset to find their cars ticketed when they believed they could park where they did. Jackie Berman Palo Alto
I volunteered for two shifts at the athlete registration tables. The first day I was given written notes on using the computer program. The second day, there were printed procedures to follow. The latter left out a step or two in the sequence which I tried to remember each time. The coordinator asked if I wanted to change jobs. I guess she thought I was too slow. When I told her I felt fine doing it but the directions were different the two days, she replied that there had been no change in the program and the directions were the same. (Kind of a snotty attitude) I didn't argue with her. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting athletes from around the country, but I haven't forgotten her "attitude".
I was a tennis desk volunteer, and found that I had little to do. The tennis venue was hampered by a schedule conflict with the Bank of the West tournament, who didn't vacate the facility in a timely manner, and the number of athletes who "withdrew" at the last minute. Then a new Tournament Director was brought in who was perhaps competent, but not suited to running the event which had so many problems. I found her rude and completely un-friendly to volunteers, (thank you USTA). I think the orientation was not necessary and the jobs should be better described before people sign up. On the plus side, I enjoyed watching the matches and talking to the players.
WONDERFUL experience! AWESOME, inspiring, important event both for the participants and the broader community. I helped with swimming and triathlon - what a THRILL to see the participants! Organizationally things were amazingly smooth particularly for an extremely complex (25-ring circus!) one-time event. Thank your for a TRULY MEMORABLE opportunity.
I stuffed bags, worked the volunteer registration table and assisted in Archery. The games, the athletes and the volunteers I met were wonderful. I didn't know anything about competitive archery, and learned lots. The athletes, both those I observed in events, and those I met on CalTrain and in town, were amazing people. I feel it was an honor to serve for these games as a volunteer. Sally
I worked shuffleboard. A person in charge was needed, but the participants themselves kept the events on track. There's something not quite right with this survey....who are/is the "nonprofit" ? Better scheduling, firmed up schedules are needed.
It was fun interacting with the athletes. Interacting with officials and other volunteers was variable -- some were great and some were crabby. My biggest problem with the experience was that they asked us to commit huge amounts of time -- 6 hours each on 2 separate days (which we didn't know about up front) -- and then we had long periods of having nothing to do. We ended up working closer to 2 hours each day. Huge waste of time. The volunteer shifts should have been better coordinated to the timing of the events.
I had more fun than I ever expected! I initially volunteered for 3 days then ended up signing up for at least 1 session every day- I'm fortunate because I was off for the summer.... I did my "job" and then toured the games to watch every sport played at the Stanford Campus. Fellow volunteers were friendly, appreciative, and, often, as inspired as I was by the incredible stick-to-it-attitude of the athletes. I am amazed that things were as organized as they were, given the scope of trying to keep all 4000 volunteers with a continuum of skills and schedules all on relatively the same page. Now i have to take up a sport so I can go to Houston!
Although I greatly enjoyed meeting the athletes, I thought the organization of the volunteers was unpleasant. At the orientation, the presenter didn't know her speech, even with slides on the screen, and the worst was that they wasted a huge amount of time making everyone stand up and say why they had volunteered. It was very amateurish and annoying. Also, that volunteer leader was nasty and insulting one day when I inquired about a 'parking sticker' the instructions had referred to. Very unprofessional and no good management skills.
I volunteered at the SH&C booth, the Green Team and at the medical tent. I enjoyed the opportunity to work with other Stanford employees and meet the senior game participants. I did not even know about the Senior Games until I saw the notice for volunteers. Watching the athletes perform and hearing their stories was very inspiring. Overall, the people I spoke with seem to really enjoy the venue and appreciated all the support that was available.
While I was generally impressed with the coordination of the whole games, such as the apparent adherence to the event schedule, my particular experience was not good. People coming to me for track bib numbers were asking me a myriad of questions that I had not been prepared to answer, even obvious ones such as Where do I go for my event, Where can I warm up, Where and when do I get my award, etc. When my coordinator showed up (briefly, apparently once per day, to drop off refreshments), I suggested that she develop a FAQ for those questions. When I arrived the next day, no FAQ, so I grabbed a board and started creating my own. The next day, that FAQ had disappeared, and the people who were already there doing my job were just as uninformed as I had been. To develop the answers to that FAQ, I retraced the route that athletes took to me from Registration and found gaping information holes all along the way, including at Registration. This lack of information left a lot of athletes feeling frustrated at best, and possibly some of them missed their events.
My experience volunteering for the Senior Games was incredible. Met so many people and athletes and hearing their stories and achievements and competitive spirit were so inspiring and enjoyable even though some had complaints but they were all in good spirits and enjoyed the venue and city which made me proud being a resident as well. It was an awesome time for me and even having the chance to award the medals to the winners was an even incredible experience! It may be the National Senior Games but it made me feel as though I was at the Olympics!!