HOUSTON — When the sports world turns its attention to Houston for the Final Four, the remaining top teams will be hard at work, while thousands of rabid fans will be hard at play.
At the same time, the group of volunteers Final Four volunteer manager Mackenzie Skrla is putting together, will help make sure everyone has an experience to remember.
"I was speaking to a volunteer at our last event, and we were talking about 'why do you do this? Why are you out here?'" Skrla said. "She basically said 'I'm Houston.' We are a diverse community and our volunteers really represent that."
No matter where fans and visitors go during Final Four weekend, volunteers who have been trained in an orientation session will be there answering questions at information desks and more.
"We have more interactive roles that will be inside of fan fest, inside the March Madness music festival, out at tailgate tipoff," Skrla said. "Those volunteers will help out with the interactions and be more hands-on with those guests, helping them just enjoy the fun of the weekend."
Many volunteers are retirees who come for the experience or people who want Houston to be seen in the best possible light. For other volunteers, the experience could lead to something more.
"We have an internship program that opens up new doors," Skrla said. "Just being a volunteer gets you into the community, gets you around new people that you might not see every day...you never know who you might bump into."
As of late January, Skrla said they already have about 70% of the volunteers they need, but some shifts are still available. You can sign up to volunteer on the Final Four's website.