The Mutua Madrid Open drew to a close this Sunday, and once again was only possible thanks to the selfless work from the 660 volunteers who gave of their time for their love of tennis.
Another year over, and this time 660 volunteers lent a hand to making sure the Mutua Madrid Open ran smoothly. In a lot of cases they had to pay money on transportation to and from the venue, with many people coming from all over Spain to pitch in. But even more impressive was the volunteers who came from abroad, many of them taking time off work to do so.
Most of them worked in the Press Centre, where a knowledge of languages is essential, as well as in the Player’s Zone, another area in which languages play an important role. People came from China, Mexico, New Zealand, Venezuela, Germany and Italy.
This year the Press Centre was notable for the amount of volunteers coming from Eastern Europe, specifically Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. They surprised everyone with how well they spoke Spanish, although many of them have been living in Spain for a few years now.
In the case of Nicoletta Sommella, she has been coming from Baples to work at the tournament as a volunteer for three years now, incurring all the costs herself. Even so she feels more than compensated for her efforts, stating that “I have a great time here and get to meet some incredible people”, which brings her back every year. “I’m always telling my friends they should get involved when I get back to Italy. I have been coming since 2007 and always enjoy myself. The volunteers are a friendly bunch and I’ve met some of my best friends by working here in the last few years”, she explained. While the effort of every single volunteer is to be praised, cases like Nicoletta’s perhaps merit special mention.
There are volunteers of all ages, professions and backgrounds. They are joined by a love the sport and it is fitting that they make a world tennis event on this scale possible.