EUSA Insider:

Petra Bihary

Age:                   25
University:        Eötvös Loránd University (HUN)
Volunteer                                                                                                                      Published 17 May 2019

Describe how and why you got involved in volunteering at EUSA events?
I have been always a sports fan, plus I know that it is a totally different world. One year before the European Universities Games my ex-volunteer mates threw me the idea to apply for Coimbra because there will be a big sport event there, and I thought ‘why not?’ I had never heard about it before, but I looked up the event and it started to interest me. There were many reasons to join the volunteer programme: it was a big motivation to meet again with my friends and make some new ones. On the other hand, it was the perfect event to have new experiences and moreover, doing it in a foreign country.
Volunteer jobs are not the same as what I am doing in my normal life. It is relaxing for me, it helps turn off my mind and I really enjoy it, so I wanted to relive this positive job again.

Petra Bihary Volunteer EUG2018 1

Tell us about your involvement in sport.
Well, I have never been a real athlete, however it was my dream. I played basketball for three years at primary school and after that in high school I played volleyball. I am not an athlete, but I have been dancing for 20 years at my association. I was with my group in some competitions, but we are not concentrating on competitions, but just on performances. But it gives me a lot of adrenalin to be a good dancer, to do the perfect movements and be the best with my group. 
I am truly a sports fan. From my childhood, I always followed the Olympic Games and every big sports event, mostly football, handball, water polo and swimming. I always wanted to be successful in sport, but it never happened, nevertheless as a volunteer I can still live through that feeling.

“It would be good for everyone to try volunteering; they can have different experiences about the world that they can use in life.”

Describe your experience of volunteering at the European Universities Games 2018. Was this your first time volunteering at an international sports event?
The EUG was not the first international sport event for me. In 2017 I was a volunteer in the European Youth Olympics Festival which was a variant of the European Universities Games. In Coimbra I was in the IT group which was a new challenge for me as I had never been in a position like this. I worked in handball, volleyball, futsal and basketball, where everyone helped in my work. The coordinators were definitely decent, the referees taught me many other things about sport and it was amazing to saw how fair play is working in sports.

I am happy that I was brave enough to go to another country to try myself in something new. Now I am more open to the world, to practice my language skills and I have many good memories which still make me smile. I made new friends, so whenever I travel somewhere I can meet with them.
The most positive thing what I learnt in the European Universities Games was to see that people can be a community in which they don’t care where others come from and what are they like. Athletes and volunteers were the same: we had dinner together, we had conversations and learnt from each other.

Petra Bihary Volunteer EUG2018 2

In 2019 the European Universities Championships will take place all over Europe! Will you apply/ have you applied for the EUC 2019 Volunteer programme?
It was not even a question to apply for EUSA volunteer programme! I have good memories from the EUG and I really enjoyed my job, the staff and the atmosphere. I would like to do all the things again as well as be a participant in the competitions as a volunteer.

Petra Bihary Volunteer EUG2018 3

What is your message to young Europeans interested in volunteering?
I know the world is changing and money is important for everyone, nevertheless volunteering is something special today too: it develops other skills than what you can get in normal life. There are so many things happening with feelings you cannot tell – you have to be there. You become more enthusiastic, more emphatic because you are working together with similar people like you. You have the same interests and maybe a similar personality and you can make more friends easily. You learn a lot about yourself and about the world too. You can be part of something big; even though you may seem like a little thing in the system, you are the most important part of it and that is an incredible feeling. In my opinion, it would be good for everyone to try volunteering; they can have different experiences about the world that they can use in life.

EUSA would like to thank Petra for her contribution to the 2018 European Universities Games and hope to see her soon, at the upcoming 2019 European Universities Championships!