Teenagers who would like to volunteer and earn community service hours at The Most Magical Place on Earth have several opportunities coming up.
Registration is now open for the 2017 Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games on May 20 and 21 at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World.
Disney volunteers, also known as Sports Enthusiasts and Volunteer Ambassadors, can work at events held at the facility or at runDisney races held on Disney World property. In general, they must be at least 14 to volunteer and those younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. For the Special Olympics, volunteers younger than 18 do not have to volunteer with an adult. All minors must have a parent or guardian’s permission and a signed waiver.
For the 2017 Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games, volunteers still are needed to help with the games on Saturday. There are waitlists for other shifts that involve serving meals and helping with “Healthy Athletes.” Volunteer shifts are typically assigned on a first-come, first-served basis with volunteers receiving assignments about 30 days before the event takes place.
The only event on the summer calendar for Sports Enthusiasts is AAU National Club Championships for Track and Field, which takes place July 7 to 15. Volunteer positions will be available for start/finish line, field events, clerk’s tent and awards tent. Registration will open on April 4. Keep an eye on this website if you are interested.
For runDisney races, volunteers may work at the Health and Fitness Expo or kid races located at ESPN Wide World of Sports or at the start/finish line or along the course of races that go through the parks at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The next runDisney event in Orlando is the Walt Disney World Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend, which includes the half marathon, a 10K, a 5K and kid races. All events take place Nov. 2 to 5. Registration for volunteers opens several months in advance, but it is not available yet.
Walt Disney World recognizes that even though its Sports Enthusiasts are volunteering for their own personal reasons, they could not host the races without the volunteers’ help. As such, volunteers are given “appreciation,” for their time. Each person receives a snack and one commemorative piece of apparel for each volunteer shift.
In addition, volunteers are eligible to earn points toward complimentary theme-park tickets. Each hour of service completed is equal to one point, and it takes 16 points to earn a day’s admission to Walt Disney World. (The exception is shifts that are worked on a runDisney course, which earn one ticket per four- to six-hour shift.) Earned tickets are mailed within 60 days of reaching 16 points.
To get started, you must register through Active.com. You have the option to access the information as a guest or to create an account, which streamlines future registrations.
Volunteers will receive confirmation in the mail of the shifts for which they have been scheduled about a month prior to the event. The mailing also will include further information on parking, directions, and other useful information.
Questions? Call the Sports Enthusiast Information Line at 407-938-3880, or email [email protected]