ESOM seminar on volunteering and management of sports events

ESOM seminar on volunteering and management of sports events

Within the ESOM (Enhancing Sport Organisations and Management) project, co-founded by the European Union, a seminar and in-person partners’ meeting was hosted by the University Sport Association of Poland (AZS) on February 2 in Warsaw.

The day was focused on a seminar, organized as presentations and discussions to share different experiences on the principals topics of volunteering and management of sports events. The main aim of the project itself, is to strengthen management and event organisation in university sport. This is being done through blended learning, sharing experiences, gaining new information and skills on the key topics of sports management, funding, communication and other key topics.

Presentation of volunteering in EUSA

The first topics discussed in the seminar was on Volunteer Recruitment and Management. Remotely, the experiences were shared by Nikola Vincetic from Croatian Academic Sports Federation (CASF/HASS), followed by Hristina Hristova representing the European University Sports Association (EUSA). First the experiences of the development of volunteering for the needs of the European Universities Games 2016 in Zagreb and Rijeka was presented, and the legacy; while EUSA shared the different types of volunteering within EUSA, including the different phases of volunteer management and the importance of volunteering in the organisation. Different programs, projects and volunteer opportunities were showcased by both speakers.

Examples from Hungary

The topic of volunteering and volunteer recruitment and management  was presented in-person in more details also by Marianna Pikul from the University Sport Association of Poland (AZS), Mirella Keschik-Gyenes representing the Hungarian University Sports Federation (HUSF/MEFS) and Mojca Rupert on behalf of the University of Ljubljana (UL). They first two shared their experiences on the recruitment and management of the volunteers for the European Universities Championships and Games. They presented also different keys to define the organisation of the volunteers during the event. Different events and activities were presented, as well as resources like the guidebooks on volunteering.

Examples of resources

Before the lunch this topic was concluded by also other participants sharing their experiences regarding the recruitment, engagement and retention of volunteers; identifying the issues and offering some potential solutions based on experiences of different partners with previous events. 

The second topic was the Event Management and Organisation. Nikola Vincetic from the Croatian Academic Sports Federation (CASF/HASS), presented the lifecycle of the event with the different steps needed for a successful event.

Examply by the University of Ljubljana

Mojca Rupert from the University of Ljubljana presented an example of a running event that the university organises, explaining the management of this event, also covering the promotion, financing, and the crucial role of the volunteers during this event.

Kevin Van Loon of the Student Sport Nederland presented the organisation of the national university multisport championships (GNSK), focusing on the importance of communication support to promote the event and increase its visibility. Both the previous editions, as well as the upcoming one were presented.

Boris Sekulic from the Students Sports Association of Montenegro (SSAM/SSCG) presented the strategic event management for inclusive events, aiming towards mass participation and student-friendly events. He gave also some key points related to communication and registration in different channel to increase the participation, as well as establishing strong partnerships with the National Sports Federations and improving financing and partnerships.

Presentation of preliminary research data

Andrej Pisl, representing the European University Sports Association (EUSA) and its Institute, presented the strategies and activities of the organisation in helping the local organising committees in the organisation of the events, including the resources and documentation available, as well as education and monitoring system implemented. The key elements of sports events organisation were also shared.

Delegation from Ukraine with project manager

Although our Ukrainian partner – Sports Students' Union of Ukraine (SSUU) – is heavily restricted in events and operation due to the ongoing war in their country, they still carry out some activities, both online and in person. Some good practice examples were shared from current, as well as past period by Anna Volosiuk.

The event concluded with the partners’ meeting. ESOM project coordinator Andrej Pisl presented preliminary results of the research about university sport in Europe, including sports organised, gender representation, funding and other key aspects. An overview of the project past and future activities was made and in discussion some changes to the implementation, especially related to the timeline of activities was agreed upon. The agreed steps will be enforced to meet the expectations of the quality project results, as well as to meet the funders’ obligations.

Representatives of ESOM partners

The partners will meet again during online meeting and seminar on April 11 and in person in Hungary in July during the European Universities Games 2024 and in Croatia in August at the occasion of the FISU Forum.

ESOM project is led by the EUSA Institute (SLO), in partnership with national university sports associations: Croatian Academic Sports Federation – CASF/HASS (CRO), Hungarian University Sports Federation – HUSF/MEFS (HUN), Students Sports Association of Montenegro – SSAM/USSCG (MNE), Student Sports Association the Netherlands (NED), University Sports Association of Poland – AZS (POL), Sports Students' Union of Ukraine – SSUU (UKR) and the University of Ljubljana – UL (SLO). The project is co-financed by the European Union. For more information about ESOM, please see