EUG 2022: EUSA Conference on Volunteering
On 18 July, the European University Sport Association (EUSA) held a conference on the topic of volunteering open to anyone wanting to learn about international university sport volunteering and EU volunteering projects. This event having its relevance within the framework of the European Universities Games 2022 Lodz and the future sport events.
Moderated by Hristina Hristova, EUSA Communication Officer, the conference started with a welcome speech from EUSA President Mr Adam Roczek.
Present was Head of Erasmus+ at the Executive Agency of European Commision, Mr Yves Le Lostecque, who explained the role of the European Commission on supporting sport and physical activity. Mentioning the multiple possibilities around sport, training and youth, as weel as reminding the guests that the EUG2022 event is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme.
Ms Nataša Janković, member of the Serbian Olympic Committee described volunteers as a key ingredient for a successful sports event. She shared her experience in managing volunteers in big sports events giving some details of the operational management. She also spoke about how to encourage voluntees, how to organise trainings and gave tips for managers in charge of volunteers on how to proceed, as well as giving an overview of what are the keys elements to managing and recruiting.
Ms Marianna Pikul, EUG2022 volunteer’s coordinator, started by talking about her life changing volunteering experiences that pushed her to be in the position she is today. A position that she described as a challenging task. Indeed, more than coordinating the 700 volunteers present at the EUG2022 - including 179 international volunteers-, the volunteers department closely collaborates with the other organisational departments to understand the needs of everyone.
She presented the best management practices for volunteers, from the promotional part, through the different positions and positions given to volunteers, to the leader’s programme support by the European Commission.
With 10 years’ experience in EUSA events, Ms Ezster Gulyas gave an immersive presentation through her multiple volunteering stories. From her participation in the first European University Games 2012 in Cordoba in the Media Team to her presence in this year EUG in Lodz in the EUSA Hospitality Team, she stressed that she has been growing and gained a lot of useful skills that she uses both in her personal and professional life.
"Improving a foreign language, gaining experience, making friends, having fun" volunteers’ motivations differ from person to person and Project and Communication manager Mr Andrej Pisl stressed that each reason for volunteering is valid. He proceeded to talk about the different volunteering projects in which the EUSA Institute takes part in, including some of them co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme. Short terms volunteering, European Solidarity Corps Programme, EUSA International Volunteer Programme, Erasmus+ Internships are part of EUSA Volunteering Programme.
Ms Tjaša Kozjan, Project Manager, presented the work of the Association for Development of Voluntary Work in Novo Mesto, Slovenia. She also mentioned the W4C-S4SPORT project as a project partner along with the EUSA Institute, its goals, objectives and future results.
Ms Eva Ental, Project Manager of the University of Miskolc Sport Club, presented the small-scale project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme> K2S-GENZ. A project with the main goal to create guidelines for volunteers’ management in a multi-sports event. This project is directly linked to current European Universities Games as well as to the next ones in 2024 in Hungary.
Mr Christian Salah Hajj presented the work and values of ENGSO Youth as well as his extensive volunteering journey.
There were two Panel discussions bringing together all the speakers. They were asked questions about volunteers-s motivation, balancing personal, volunteers’ legacy, balancing professional life with volunteering experience, key points and advice on managing volunteers, the importance of projects.
Finally, EUSA President Mr Adam Roczek stated - "We built a community, and this is a community of volunteers." He expressed his appreciation and gratefulness to all volunteers who help to develop university sport and who are making the Games possible.
For more information, please see www.eusa.eu/projects