The Madrid Masters 1000 is one of the most significant events of the year in the Spanish capital. In order for everything to run smoothly, the staff who make the tournament possible work with 639 volunteers who come from all over the world to experience, in their own words, “one of the best experiences of our lives”. Today we asked if we could spend a day with some of the volunteers who work in the Mutua Madrid Open communication department and for them to tell us what it is like for them to be on the inside of one of the best sports shows in the world.
Rosalía Carrión is studying journalism. Although she was born in Panama, she came to Spain to take her degree and she found herself with a chance to experience the Mutua Madrid Open from the inside. Like many of the volunteers who sign up each year, she found out about it online: “Last year I saw it online, but I couldn’t make it. This year I got in and it is a different and dynamic experience”. Regarding her work, she stated that “having to move around a lot, in all parts of the communication department, I’m really getting involved in the world of journalism and I feel like it’s helping me grow as a professional. It is a great opportunity, not just to learn about and enjoy tennis, but also to get to know people from different countries”.
Marta Blanco is a journalist and, like Rosalía, she is taking part as a volunteer with the communication team. “I’ve been working here for ten years now. It all started because I really like Roger Federer and I wanted to see him in my city. I found out online that there was a tournament in Madrid and that you could sign up as a volunteer and I was lucky enough to be chosen in the first year I did it. It was an amazing experience, and I liked it so much that I did it again in the new venue, the Caja Mágica, and everything was on a much bigger scale. Before there were around 100 volunteers and now there are more than 600 of us”. This is her first experience in this department, as she was working in the stands in previous years. Her favourite thing about the tournament is that “there is a great atmosphere, everyone works together”. Although she works in the media, she always takes this week as a ‘sabbatical’. “I like being on the other side, as a volunteer. I really like watching tennis and seeing how the competition is organised and experiencing it from the inside. This year I got put here and I can help them because of my career, and I meet other journalist colleagues”. Like her, her mother and several friends have signed up year after year. “I would completely recommend the experience”.
Finally, we spoke with Alana, an Indian journalist who has come to Madrid to study a Masters in Journalism and Communication. Thanks to a professor at his university he was able to work at the tournament as a press volunteer. “They let me get close to the players as I help the cameraman… it is an incredible experience because I am getting to meet a lot of players who I would follow on TV in India”. One of the best experiences of his life was here: “I interviewed Djokovic. My friends will not believe it when I tell them”. But apart from this experience, he is also happy to have made “many friends here. Also, my girlfriend, who is from Panama, is a volunteer. This is a great experience for us, coming from so far away”.
As well as the more than 600 volunteers who come every year, there are eleven coordinators (one in each department), who make it possible for the tournament to be one of the best in the world. 63 volunteers work in press, where they help more than 400 journalists who come from all over the planet to cover the Mutua Madrid Open.