Volunteering is a value long entrenched in American life. The very structure of the United States government lends itself to citizens’ self-organization, while the altruistic desire to serve others directs volunteer activity. As a result, one in four Americans volunteer. Americans of all ages volunteer in the sport and recreation sector, with young people and older adults leading the way. Yet, altruism as the core component of volunteer efforts no longer stands alone. Instead, Americans volunteer for a plethora of reasons, some of which blur the traditional expectations that volunteering is both voluntary and uncompensated. The emphasis on commercialization throughout the United States sport system is changing the traditional perceptions of volunteering and impacting on the types of volunteer experiences provided.
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