The 1,800 volunteers required for The 2014 Ryder Cup have now been selected, following the largest number of applications received for a volunteer programme in Ryder Cup history.
Ryder Cup Europe received a record 17,500 applications from a total of 27 different countries for the volunteer roles since the programme launched in February this year. Applications from Scotland, England, USA, Wales and Ireland make up the top five countries to have submitted applications.
Applicants yesterday received notification of whether they have been successful and have been selected for a small reserve list, or unsuccessful.
Around half of those selected live in Scotland and have been drawn from all regions of the country, with Perthshire, Lanarkshire, Stirlingshire, Fife and Aberdeenshire representing the top five.
European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley commented: “I am delighted to welcome each and every one of the 1,800 people who have volunteered to be part of the experience at Gleneagles next September. No golf tournament could exist without volunteers and that is especially true in terms of a competition of the size and magnitude of The Ryder Cup, so I thank them all for their participation.
“Success in The Ryder Cup is all about great teamwork inside the ropes, but it is just as important to have great teamwork outside the ropes too, and I know we are set to have that at Gleneagles.”
Successful volunteers will take up on and off-course roles, including: on course Marshals; park and ride volunteers; crowd safety marshals; bus ambassadors; programme and radio sales assistants; buggy shuttle drivers; and media centre or merchandise pavilion assistants.
Antonia Beggs, operations director for The 2014 Ryder Cup, said: “The level of applications for our volunteer programme is unprecedented and we would like to thank everybody who took the time to apply. The process demonstrates the extraordinary appeal of The 2014 Ryder Cup, both in Scotland and throughout the rest of the world. It truly is a unique sporting event and people just want to play their part.
“The Ryder Cup volunteering programme differs somewhat to those of larger events and therefore our selection criteria included specific qualifications and skills in many cases. Our volunteers will set the tone for the event and will be responsible for helping to welcome the world to Scotland in 2014, meaning finding those with a positive attitude and genuine desire to be involved in one of the world’s greatest sporting events was a priority.”
Along with their volunteering duties, every Ryder Cup volunteer will be guaranteed at least a half-day of viewing time on course during each day of the competition as well as receiving clothing, food and the guarantee of the opportunity to purchase a Ryder Cup season ticket for a friend or family member.
Sport Minister Shona Robison said: “The fantastic response to the Ryder Cup volunteering programme, from both Scotland and around the world, shows just how much global interest there is in a Ryder Cup in Scotland, the Home of Golf.
“We are currently developing a new and separate scheme with the event organisers that will open up extra volunteer places at The 2014 Ryder Cup and will announce further details later this year. All of the volunteers at Gleneagles will make the Ryder Cup an event to remember in an historic year for Scotland, alongside the Commonwealth Games and the Year of Homecoming.”
Councillor Ian Miller, Leader of Perth and Kinross Council, added: “The 2014 Ryder Cup will draw the world’s attention to the Perth & Kinross area and the volunteers will play a pivotal role in ensuring visitors enjoy themselves and leave with a positive image of Perth and Kinross, and of Scotland.”