The role of a sponsor is one of a spiritual friend, of support and care. Sponsors are usually delegated by the local parish community to take an active and supportive role as companions, witnesses and guides for those seeking to join the Catholic Church. You may have a Catholic friend or colleague who could also act as a sponsor.
Godparents have a special role that goes beyond the time-frame of the RCIA journey. As part of the RCIA, the Godparents play an especially important role during the liturgical rites such as Rite of Election and Sacraments of Initiation. A Godparent must be over 16 years of age and have fully completed their Christian Initiation into the Catholic Church.