What's up: Volunteering and Olympism
Volunteering in the field of your profession is a great way to prepare yourself for your future career, gain valuable experiences and expand your professional relations. This is especially true for the world of sport where so many sports events are organized with the help of hundreds or even thousands of volunteers. Therefore, there are plenty of opportunities to see how a sports competition is organized and meet many people from the field you are interested in. Even those who study something completely different from sports can benefit from volunteering at sports events. The available volunteer positions depend on the event, but most events need volunteers in interpretation, team services, IT, accreditation, marketing, logistics, communication, media, photography, security, administration and health services, so everyone can find an area that suits his or her interests the most.
As a volunteer you get the chance to look behind the scenes and learn about the organization from very first hand as you are the link between participants and organizers. Volunteers are at the very core of the event, contributing to the great success of the games. Without the help of the volunteers most sports competitions could not be organized. While spending their precious time and money on volunteer work, volunteers obtain unforgettable memories for life. Those memorable experiences include meeting old and new friends from all around the world, supporting athletes in their struggle and celebrating success, getting introduced to different discussion topics and new technology in sport, meeting famous personalities from in and outside of the sport world, and last but not least, seeing young athletes from all over the world competing against each other on the field but being best friends off the field.
One of the latest large scale sports events, the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games have just finished in Lillehammer, Norway. The competitions were organized with the help of 3000 volunteers who were divided into different working groups. I was one of the lucky ones to volunteer in Lillehammer as the Team Assistant of Hungary. Since my Bachelor studies were completed in Sports Management and I am currently doing my Master on Olympic Studies this has been an amazing opportunity for me to complement my theoretical knowledge about event management that I have acquired during my studies. Seeing in practice what you have learned earlier is the best way to deepen your knowledge.
Olympism is a philosophy of life, blending sport and culture. The aim of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to a better world through emphasizing the Olympic Values of Friendship, Excellence and Respect. The Youth Olympic Games have the special feature to focus on culture and education besides the sport programme, which allows the Youth Olympic Games to embody Olympism. In the Learn & Share programme athletes, coaches, officials and also volunteers have the possibility to broaden their horizon, learn about Olympism and the Olympic Movement and educate themselves in various areas. The International Olympic Academy, which is the coordinating organization of my Master degree programme also presented its work in a shared booth with the International Olympic Truce Centre. It was a great possibility for me to become more familiar with the work of the International Olympic Academy and promote their activities in the same time.
I would definitely encourage everyone to volunteer at sports events or in any field they are interested in. Volunteering can be a great enrichment to your CV and it creates lifetime memories.
During the European Universities Games 2016 in Zagreb and Rijeka between 1500 and 2000 volunteers will help the work of the organizers. If you want to be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity, do not hesitate to apply and jump into this great adventure! The application process is still open until 1st April, please follow the link for further details: http://eug2016.com/volunteer/
The author Anna Edes is a member of the Student Commission and a is currently doing her Masters’ on Olympic Studies.
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