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17,000 apply to volunteer at Ryder Cup next year

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European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley

European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley

Ross Kinnaird

European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley

The 2014 Ryder Cup organisers have been flooded with a record 17,500 applications for the 1,800 spots available to be a volunteer at next year's tournament.

The 1,800 volunteers needed for the championship at Gleneagles, Perthshire, have now been picked and are today receiving official notification, Ryder Cup Europe said.

The greatest number of would-be volunteers came from Scotland, England, the US, Wales and Ireland.

People from 27 countries have applied to work at the Ryder Cup since the volunteer programme was launched in February.

They are set to take up a range of roles both on and off the course including on course marshals, park and ride volunteers, crowd safety marshals and bus ambassadors.

They might also be working as programme and radio sales assistants, buggy shuttle drivers or as media centre or merchandise pavilion assistants.

"No golf tournament could exist without volunteers and that is especially true in terms of a competition of the size and magnitude of The Ryder Cup, so I thank them all for their participation," European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley said.

"Success in The Ryder Cup is all about great teamwork inside the ropes, but it is just as important to have great teamwork outside the ropes too, and I know we are set to have that at Gleneagles."

Along with their volunteering duties, every Ryder Cup volunteer is guaranteed at least a half-day of viewing time on course during each day of the competition.

Clothing and food is also provided along with the chance to buy Ryder Cup season tickets for a friend or family member.

Describing the level of volunteer applications as "unprecedented", 2014 Ryder Cup operations director Antonia Beggs said: "The process demonstrates the extraordinary appeal of The 2014 Ryder Cup, both in Scotland and throughout the rest of the world.

"It truly is a unique sporting event and people just want to play their part."

Organisers were keen to find the right people as the volunteers will "set the tone for the event and will be responsible for helping to welcome the world to Scotland in 2014", she said.

Many of the roles demanded specific qualifications and skills but the organisers said their key priority was also to find people with a positive attitude who wanted to be involved.

Sport minister Shona Robison said their was a "fantastic response" to the chance to volunteer and viewed it as a sign of "just how much global interest there is in a Ryder Cup in Scotland, the Home of Golf".

She said: "We are currently developing a new and separate scheme with the event organisers that will open up extra volunteer places at The 2014 Ryder Cup and will announce further details later this year.

All of the volunteers at Gleneagles will make the Ryder Cup an event to remember in an historic year for Scotland, alongside the Commonwealth Games and the Year of Homecoming."

Applicants are today being told whether they have been successful, selected for a small reserve list or will not be needed.

Online Editors