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Catch The ‘Vibes’ – Be An ICC CWC 2007 Volunteer!

Though ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 formally launched its Volunteer Programme last Saturday, the people of the Caribbean have been showing their selfless commitment to this crucial aspect of the Event for many months.

In each Host Venue, a number of individuals have joined the Volunteer Programme – which will be known as CWC VIBES to capture the essence of Caribbean lifestyle – and are already working in various capacities to ensure their respective Local Organizing Committee (LOC) is functioning as it should and thereby contributing to the efficient progress being made towards next year’s 16-team tournament to be held in nine regional countries.

As the Volunteer Programme prepares to get in full stride now – with the Application Process to be completed by the end of August – these volunteers are urging fellow West Indians to join them.

“Volunteering has been a big part of giving back to my community. I have volunteered in other projects in the past so when this opportunity came up for ICC Cricket World Cup, I just grabbed it,” said Malcolm Williams.

The former Boy Scout is an important cog in the Guyana Local Organizing Committee (LOC), serving as the Information Technology (IT) manager; a role he assumed last April. Though he has an assistant, he maintains overall control of and responsibility for the IT needs of the LOC while being a full-time lecturer at the University of Guyana.

“I know most people would think Malcolm is in a salaried position but he only gets a stipend to cover expenses and incidentals while doing a first-class and full-time job for us given the amount of time he spends at the LOC. I’m quite pleased with his work as a volunteer,” explained Guyana LOC CEO Karan Singh.

Apart from ensuring the LOC’s computers and related infrastructure are working properly, Williams is also part of ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 IT & Telecommunications team currently holding their second meeting in Tobago. This group is responsible for designing a Wide Area Network (WAN) within stadiums to deliver functionalities for various systems such as Accreditation, Medical, Security and Ticketing.

“ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 is very important to the Caribbean. Cricket has been a big part of our culture and having been given the opportunity to host Cricket World Cup is testimony that the ICC believes in us. This gives us the opportunity to prove to the world that we can host a mega-tournament,” said Williams.

Volunteer with the St. Vincent & the Grenadines LOC, Jennis Howard, shares her Guyanese colleague’s sentiment. That’s what spurred her involvement as a Protocol Officer.

“The Volunteer Programme is one of the important legacies of Cricket World Cup 2007. I have decided to be part of this programme as a way to give my support. The world is watching us and we have to put on a great show in order to make this the Best Cricket World Cup Ever,” said the employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce.

Further south, Lisa-Maria Alexander – a business executive in Trinidad & Tobago – also embraced the Volunteer Programme.

“This is an opportunity to contribute to an event that would showcase the region as a unique visitor experience. Volunteers play a significant role in the visitor’s experience. Great interaction can build relations for a lifetime and leave positive lasting impressions,” she said.

Underlining the tournament’s significance for this developing region, Alexander cited the “vital cohesion” being engendered in the Caribbean through the Event.

“The nine Host Venues are focused on the same goals within predefined parameters and the Event is bringing increased awareness of the region as a destination full of economic, cultural and ethnic diversity, though the territories share many commonalities.”

Antigua Junior Chamber (Jaycees) member Donna Francis is another person who will be part of the CWC Vibes unit. She has signed up for duty with the Antigua & Barbuda LOC.

Having been involved in voluntary work for the past five years, she sees Cricket World Cup as a valuable way in which to serve her community and to grow in her experience as a volunteer.
“My family has been involved with community work for years but I wanted to join a specific organization and do more. I joined the Antigua Junior Chamber – the Jaycees – and this organization has helped me to develop in many ways. I am now more confident and have learnt new leadership skills which I hope will be an asset in whatever I am chosen to do for the Cricket World Cup,” said Francis.

In a highly-publicized volunteer registration last month, the Barbados LOC signed up an estimated 800 volunteers from career civil servants to students. Undergraduate at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Kevyn Henry, feels a “responsibility” to do his part.

“I see this as an occasion when my country will be on the world stage and, as a Barbadian, I want to help show that small countries can pull off these massive events as well,” said the second-year major in political science.

For Henry’s compatriot Sonia Beckles, the motivation to join the Volunteer Programme came from her desire for the world “to know about little Barbados” and to contribute to the Event’s success.

In addition, this clerical officer in the Ministry of the Civil Service enjoys helping people and contributing to her society’s improvement. Already, she has learnt a lot in her Cricket World Cup experience and she is looking forward to the next year.

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