Motivations and Demographic Profile of Volunteers at a Nationwide Tour Event

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Previous research has shown the need and importance of volunteers for the successful operation and management of sporting events. This study was based upon Strigas & Jackson's (2003) recommendations to explore the motivational factors and demographics of volunteers at other types of sporting events. The event selected for the purposes of this study was a tournament on the PGA's Nationwide Tour. This study had two primary objectives: a) investigate the demographics of volunteers at a professional golf tournament; and b) examine the primary motives that influenced people to volunteer at this event. The sample consisted of 125 volunteers who completed the 39-item questionnaire. The results revealed a) 69.6% of the volunteers were male; b) the mean age was 49.78; c) 63.5% of the volunteers had an annual household income of more than $75,000; d) 46.7% of the volunteers were retired; e) 71.8% were married; and f) 66.1% were college graduates. Exploratory factor analysis using a principal-component analysis extraction technique was conducted in order to assess factors that help explain how individuals characterize their motivation in their participation of volunteer activities. Since it was anticipated that factors in the domain of motivation tend to be intercorrelated, an oblique (OBLIMIN) rotation with a default delta parameter of 0 was considered. The result of the principal component factor analysis indicated that a four factor model provided a reasonable compromise between model parsimony and adequacy of fit according to the “Kaiser rule.” The assumed factor model accounted for 62.79% of the total variance of the variables and almost all of the individual variables explained reasonably well having communalities ranging from 0.54 to 0.82. The four factors were labeled as self-interest, external influence, purposive, and escapism. The factors that emerged were similar to factors found in previous studies but the notion of escapism did add a different dimension. Escapism does imply leisure but it is also a way of relaxing and escaping the stress of everyday life. The demographic characteristics in this study are quite different than the demographic profile of the volunteers in the study conducted by Strigas & Jackson (2003). This shows that different types of people will volunteer for different types of events. The motivational factors were similar to those of under studies with the extension of leisure into the factor of escapism. Future research should explore volunteer demographics and motivational factors at different types and different levels of sporting events.


Human Performance

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Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport