The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, the biggest basketball event in the world that takes place just once every four years, will begin soon in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. While each of the host nations would want to present top-notch basketball entertainment, they desire to show off the best of what their country, and of course, their people, can offer.
In the Philippines, the “bayanihan” spirit – the concept of working as one to attain a common good – is very much alive and made all the more apparent through the Volunteers Program that the Philippines FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Local Organizing Committee (LOC) launched on November 30, 2022.
Starting then, more than 13,000 applied for the Program, and, as of August 9, 760 volunteers have been signed up to be deployed to the different Functional Areas of the LOC, assigned to perform about 35 different roles, ranging from spectator services, protocol assistants, courtside operations, and security, among several others.
While most of those who signed up were more than qualified, the Volunteers Program committee, led by its Head, Art Aro, narrowed down the search using four main criteria: must be a Philippine resident, at least 18 years old, fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and willing to render a minimum of 10 consecutive shifts. Those who fit the criteria underwent interviews, and those who made the cut were signed up.
The recruits then underwent training programs centered on developing a customer-centric mindset. The LOC partnered with the Department of Tourism to deliver its “Filipino Brand of Service Excellence” (FBSE). To enhance this, the LOC tapped Joey Pacheco, one of the most sought-after training consultants in the country, to develop them to “Becoming a FBWC Service Champion!” Further, the LOC engaged the Department of Foreign Affairs to conduct training on protocol for volunteers assigned to the International Relations and Protocol group.
It helped a lot that the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the LOC hosted a pair of windows for the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, the FIBA Draw Ceremony, and test events, giving the volunteers much-needed exposure and experience. Outstanding volunteers were identified and were automatically carried over for the World Cup and the FIBA World Congress that will be held in the days leading up to the games.
“Sustaining engagement activities will still be conducted even during their actual volunteer work to continually refresh and reinforce the concepts learned during their trainings,” Aro said.
LOC Deputy Event Director Erika Dy mentioned that the Volunteers Program has garnered high praise from FIBA officials, who meet regularly with Aro and his team. “Everything is in order. Looks like everyone is ready.”
Dy also noted that the Program went the extra mile to ensure smooth operations, particularly at the game venues. “Aside from the usual venue services, we are supplementing with spectator services. The team will be really customer-facing; they will lead all ushers, gatekeepers, everybody else that faces the fans at the venue; they will be in charge of all the entrances, have maps for that.”
Faced with the chance to showcase team spirit and renowned Filipino hospitality, the volunteers are prepared for the challenge ahead, of giving fans from all over the world the best basketball extravaganza possible.