Véronique Lévêque has been a member of the Société Nautique de Genève since she was 17. She started by volunteering in various regattas of the Cercle de la Voile and then the BOM before taking charge about ten years ago. “With this experience, I know the different roles, the people and their skills,” she explains.
The traditional registration aperitif for BOM volunteers will take place on April 5. Every year, about 200 people commit to making the Bol d’Or Mirabaud the greatest festival on the lake. Among them are members of the Cercle de la Voile Committee, the rowing section, the power squadron (who mainly provide security on the lake) as well as people from outside the club. Not all volunteers are sailing enthusiasts, but simply people who are willing to give their time because they find the BOM a wonderful show and they love their city.
In total, about fifty positions must be filled over four days. For volunteers, the BOM begins on Thursday, launching boats, verifying registration, distributing race materials (race sheet, class flag, GPS tracking application, and various goodies), and ends on Sunday with the award ceremony. Race committee, press boat pilots, reception and information, results management, parking management, night volunteers, IT, crane operators, harbor pilots… are all positions needing to be filled during the BOM. Each year, a task board is drawn up with the requests of each manager responsible for volunteers in a specific section. To maintain focus, volunteer shifts are generally about four hours long.
“There is a group of regulars that returns every year,” clarifies Véro. “We adapt the assignments to ensure that they find a role they enjoy, and which is compatible with their availability and skills.
Each volunteer receives an official shirt and hat designed for that year’s edition. They are invited to the registration aperitif. All meals are provided and enjoyed together, and there is a volunteers’ bar. Lastly, a recognition dinner is organized after the event, during which volunteers receive small gifts.”
Some volunteers have been loyal for years. “The same team has managed the cashier desk Thursday and Friday for the last ten years,” explains Véro. ” Caroline and Lisette do an exceptional job and I have absolute confidence in them, which is important for this type of position. For many years, the committee and support boats have also had the same team, while Dominique masterfully handles the awards ceremony. There are many other examples. Some tasks obviously require more experience than others. “.
The people who sign up are part of a four-day adventure. They enjoy being part of a team and are happy to volunteer their time. “Some people take vacation from their work for the BOM,” adds Véro. ” There is a real feeling of belonging, good collaboration and a fun atmosphere! People are happy to come back every year. It’s a genuine club spirit. ”
Interested in becoming a BOM volunteer? Just send an email to Véronique Lévêque at: firstname.lastname@example.org!