In advance of a busy spring sports events season, the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission created the Volunteer Incentive Program to motivate local organizations to volunteer at athletic events.

Civic groups, churches, school clubs and teams and other organizations will receive $40 per volunteer per shift worked at designated sports events.

“As a partnership between the Sports Commission and the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, the program aims to build a sports event volunteer base while supporting organizations that send volunteers,” said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for the Sports Commission. “We greatly depend on volunteers to produce high quality events each year, so we decided to give back to the community as an incentive for these hardworking individuals.”

For example, if a softball team has six people volunteer for a 4-hour shift, the team will receive $240. Volunteers are needed for the following events in 2016: NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship May 6-8, NAIA Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship May 26-28, Brett/Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon Sept. 10, Kaiser Realty by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Coastal Half-Marathon and 5K Run Nov. 26 and the NAIA Women’s Soccer National Championship Nov. 27 through Dec. 3.

Individuals not associated with organizations wishing to volunteer will be entered into drawings for gift cards to local restaurants and attractions, concert tickets and other gift items.

Nearly 50 athletic events are scheduled for March through May, including returning events such as the Orange Beach Soccer Shootout March 11-13, AHSAA State Track Championship for boys and girls May 5-7 and the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championship May 26-28.

New events include the USA Wakeboard Collegiate Competition March 19, Southern Senior Hard Court Tennis Championship March 31 through April 3, US National Taekwondo Championships May 6-7 and the NCAA National Collegiate Beach Volleyball Championship May 6-8.

For more information about volunteering with the Sports Commission, contact Sarah Cooper at 251-947-4611 or SCooper@GulfShores.com. For information on upcoming athletic events along Alabama’s Gulf Coast, visit GulfShoresOrangeBeachSports.com, or call 1-800-745-SAND.