WORLD CUP BLOG: Living the dream in Rustenburg

ROTHERHAM volunteer worker Hayley Roach reports exclusively for from the heart of the World Cup action in South Africa.

HAYLEY Roach landed her dream job when she got a job as a media volunteer at the World Cup in South Africa. In the first part of her blog for she explains how she bagged the post and what it involves...

I HAD a dream—I wanted to be a part of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

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I was in South Africa on holiday at the time that the country was awarded the tournament and it was then I decided I wanted to be a part of it.

That was in 2004 and now here I am, working as a volunteer in the media department in Rustenburg.

I moved here two years ago to work for a charity called SCORE, who place sports coaches in the rural villages in Southern Africa.

I became the co-ordinator based in the North West province of South Africa.

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I had eight villages to help implement sustainable sports structures as well as using the power of football to address the social issues (crime, HIV, poverty, drugs, pregnancy) that face the youth of today in some of the poorest villages in South Africa. 

It’s been the toughest challenge of my life–living in shacks, no water or electricity, having to face serious poverty and try and motivate some communities to engaging in sports programmes. 

Of course, everyone loves to play soccer but facilities are lacking and so is equipment so it makes the job a challenge. 

Occasionally, it works, a tournament in a rural village happens and to see hundreds of children, both girls and boys, playing makes it all worthwhile.

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My journey of working on the World Cup really started in April last year when I was appointed the co-ordinator of the opening ceremony—my dream job— but due to a few political obstacles the offer was withdrawn.

I pursued a few other positions within the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the World Cup, but it appeared my nationality was a serious problem and I was not succeeding.

So in August 2009, I  decided to apply to become a volunteer. The LOC was looking to recruit 15,000 volunteers to be deployed across the 10 venues in 9 host cities in South Africa. 

I heard nothing until February, when I was asked to attend an interview in Rustenburg and then in March I received a call from the LOC telling me that I had been successful and I was to attend a three-day training course the following week.

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68,000 people all over the world applied for just 15,000 positions and 5,000 of those applied for just 2,000 positions in Rustenburg.

There are volunteers in functional areas such as transport, hospitality, administration, pitch, protocol, medical to name a few. I am in the media department.

At each stadium, there is a media centre, where the world’s press come and apply for match parking passes, their tribune ticket for each game.

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