Place of Birth: Hong Kong
University: University of Bath (GBR)
Function: Volunteer Published 15 October 2019
Describe how and why did you get involved with volunteering at EUSA events?
My involvement in this volunteering programme was completely random. I was looking for an opportunity to join a Beach Handball-related event either as a player or a helper on Google and I found the EUSA Beach Handball website. However, I discovered this opportunity two days after the deadline for the volunteering programme, but sent an email to see if I could still join. Fortunately, Volunteer Manager Ivana Anicic still gave me the opportunity for an interview. I learnt more about the volunteering programme, including the provision of accommodation and catering, support from organisers and got the opportunity to work while having fun – it is irresistible to visit Zagreb for this programme. Comprehensive support, international exploration and work with enjoyment and fun are the solid reasons to volunteer at EUSA events.
Tell us about your involvement in sport?
I am a dedicated handball player who won several titles in Britain. A few years ago in Scotland, I won the Scottish Cup and Scottish National League in 2015-16 and 2017-18. I was also a national champion in 2018 after winning the British Final-4 tournament with Glasgow Handball Club. I went to Plzen, Czech Republic, for an EHF Cup game which was my first international experience in Handball. This year, I won the British University Handball Championships in 2019 with the University of Bath and was the MVP within the club. I always know there are improvements which can be made in sports, both mentally and physically. I love sports and I love the spirit of sports. Since I personally reached the bottleneck of my ability in handball, my involvement in these EUSA events awoke my fighting spirit in training and in handball.
Describe your experience of volunteering at the European Universities Championships 2019. Was this your first time volunteering at an international sports event?
I was in the media team for both the EUSA Beach Handball and Combat Championships, which were undeniably the ideal working environments for me. My speciality is making videos and talking to people. My senior leader, Dražen Maleš, granted me sufficient freedom to work independently while giving substantial support in my tasks. My task was to make engaging videos based on various topics by interviewing players and posting them on the event’s social media platform. At first, I was afraid to talk to players, but after stepping out of my comfort zone several times, I realised players and all other participants are welcome and happy to talk when you introduce yourself politely and professionally. I made a lot of new friends because of my tasks. I learnt a lot from their stories and their dedication to sports.
There were many unforgettable moments created for me. I “danced” with teams during the Beach Handball event at the venue for warming up. The Spanish team kindly asked me to have fun together and they were the medal winners in the end. They shared the joy with me and I felt like I was in the best and most positive atmosphere in sports ever.
An unforgettable interview I remember was with a Taekwondo fighter, Javier Pastor, who I asked, ‘How many times you train per week?’ He said that he trained at least 3-5 hours per day. We become friends and he said, ‘Andy, wait for me for the Olympics 2024’. He is a young and passionate fighter, but has no chance to join Olympics 2020 since he does not have sufficient funding to participate in enough international tournaments to qualify for the Olympics. A small and dedicated sentence decides his life in the coming five years and it is touching and motivational to hear something like this.
This was my first volunteering experience ever. People doing sports are nice and welcoming. International sports events stimulate my mindset and diversify my thinking through various perspectives. Dedication from top European players motivate my personal life goal. I was lucky to join this EUSA event.
“Comprehensive support, international exploration and work with enjoyment and fun are the solid reasons to volunteer at EUSA events.”
In 2020 the European Universities Games will be taking place in Belgrade, Serbia! Will you apply for the EUG 2020 Volunteer programme?
Surely, I will if I stay in Europe. If I move back to Asia or continue my studies in America, I will still consider because it is a super fun and valuable experience. I really hope I can make it!
What is your message to young Europeans interested in volunteering?
If you are coming here to learn and enjoy with no fear of working hard, I personally recommend you join the media team. I woke up around 9/10 am each day and went to the venue after breakfast. I stayed at the venue, talked to participants and got materials for the videos. After the matches, I edited videos for hours and went out again to socialise with participants so I could interview them in a relaxing environment next day. Although it is a tough schedule, it is undoubtedly the best experience I have ever had. If you’re wondering whether you should apply to the EUSA volunteer programme, you have my 100% support to join these events – trust me, you will not regret it!
EUSA would like to thank Andy for his contribution at the 2019 European Universities Championships and hope to see him soon at future EUSA events!