Volunteers with disabilities at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Who, why, and will they do it again

Tracey J. Dickson, Simon Darcy, Angela Benson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    People with disabilities are often the recipients of volunteer services but are rarely considered as a potential volunteer resource, such as in sport events where volunteers are an essential component of major sport event operation and legacy potential. For London's 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, there was a determined effort by the Organizing Committee to recruit people with disabilities to be Games Makers (i.e., volunteers). This exploratory research investigated 786 London 2012 volunteers who self-identified as having disability or access needs. The research design involved an online questionnaire examining their motivations for volunteering, their experiences, their likelihood to continue volunteering, and their sociodemographic profile. This article contributes to the literature by examining the motivations of people with disability volunteering at a mega-sport event, as this has not been done previously. The factor analysis identified eight components: transactional; altruistic; it's all about the games; volunteering community; rewards; availability; variety; and application. The solution highlighted the duality of human capital-related transactional components where the individual wanted to improve their skills and the altruistic components of giving back and it's all about the games experience. The discussion examined these components in comparison to other mega-event volunteers to examine commonalities and contrasts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)301-318
    Number of pages18
    JournalEvent Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    Dive into the research topics of 'Volunteers with disabilities at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Who, why, and will they do it again'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this