Volunteering: Is it a Waste of Time or Best Experience Ever?

Authors: Meliha Atalay Noordegraaf*

Meliha Atalay Noordegraaf is a PhD freelance researcher in Izmir, Turkey. Her PhD and MS are in Sport Management.

*Corresponding Author:
Meliha Atalay Noordegraaf, PhD
Tepecik Mah. 1509. Sokak
Asiyan Sitesi 1/5
Seferihisar/Izmir, Turkey
(+90) 532 5510724

The purpose of this study was to examine the volunteering experiences of experienced and inexperienced volunteers who were physical education and sport students, during “recreational events”. In this study qualitative research design and action research approach (emancipating/enhancing/critical science mode) were used. This research was carried out with 41 university students (16 female, 25 male) who participated in “recreational events” as volunteers during the fall semester of 2015-2016. Research data was collected in two different ways. The first one was by semi-structured focus group interviews. The second one was by diaries which were kept by the volunteers. This research was conducted as two different “recreational events within the educational content”. According to the results of both experienced and inexperienced volunteers four main themes emerged. These themes were: 1. Definition of voluntarism, 2. Motivations, 3. Gains and 4. Continuity.

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism, volunteer, recreational education