What's up: Volunteers of the European Universities Games 2018
Sports events could not be organised without the valuable contribution of the enthusiastic volunteers. The European Universities Games 2018 gathered hundreds of committed volunteers in Coimbra, who helped the work of the Organising Committee in various functions. Not only local, but also international volunteers joined the games from all around Europe to dedicate their time, energy and knowledge to make the event a success. These volunteers became an essential part of the event and played an important role in the successful delivery of the European Universities Games. Meet some of the enthusiastic EUG2018 volunteers and read about their wonderful experience.
Josipa Zajec from Croatia: “I decided to apply because I've experienced the games as a player since I competed in a table tennis tournament in Zagreb two years ago, so I wanted to see the other side of the games and gather new experience. The most of all I liked is the atmosphere among athletes and volunteers, connections we’ve made which will probably last after the games. The advantages are meeting people from countries all over the Europe and world and getting to know their cultures, languages and habits. I would recommend it to others because it is a great way to see other countries, to develop yourself, to get some experience in all kinds of tasks and to learn to cooperate with various kinds of different personalities and behaviours.”
Konstantinos Rerris from Greece: “What I enjoyed the most was the international atmosphere. Being in the same place with people from all around the world, sharing experiences, culture and the same passion about volunteering and sports. I gained new friends, experiences, the opportunity to get to know Portugal and the Portuguese people a bit better, and memories that will last for ever. I would definitely recommend it to others, it's an experience worth living for more than just once in your life. It doesn't matter where you are from or what's your background, if you are related with sports or not, volunteering for such events will change your life.”
Jessica Silva from Portugal: “I first heard about the European Universities Games last year while I was finishing my degree at the University of Coimbra, and I decided to volunteer. Even though it was a smaller event it allowed me to broaden my horizons so this year I couldn’t miss the opportunity to do it again. Being a bigger event, EUG 2018, presented more interesting opportunities of meeting new people, practice my English and developing organisational and problem-solving skills. For the experience of being in contact with different cultures, I highly recommend the participation in these international EUSA events.”
Nacho Peralta from Spain: “It was during my university years when the 1st European Universities Games came to my city, Cordoba in 2012. While walking in my city, I saw an advertisement panel about the Games that spawned interest in myself for volunteering. I feel called to cooperate and share time with others. I enjoyed meeting different people from different cultures. I liked having my comfort zone stretched and expanded. It’s a lot of fun! I had the chance to live an excellent leisure activity, get involved in EUSA community and feel part of something outside my daily life. Of course, no need to say that I met lots of different kinds of people and made new friends. I would definitely recommend it to my friends, they´d love to do it!”
Natalia Hetmanska from Poland: “Being a volunteer in Portugal was one of the best and beneficial experiences in my life. Being surrounded by many incredible individuals from all over the world brings you chances to speak different languages on daily basis, get to know other cultures from the natives and to make lifetime friends! Another big part of those three weeks was of course helping with organisation of such a big event. Thanks to that we get to know everything that happens backstage during the organisational process and we can use this knowledge in our future not only job experience but in life in general. You have to also remember that as a volunteer we didn’t work 24/7, we had plenty opportunities to have fun in Coimbra, as well as free days to visit other cities. Thanks to EUSA Volunteer Programme, during these three weeks we had plenty learning opportunities during the educational program for the volunteers. We had special tours around the city’s magnificent university, mass training for basic life support and very interesting lectures about anti- doping, as well as manipulation in sport competitions. I highly recommend everyone taking part in similar events to gain as much experience and friendships as I did!”
Mariano Carcatella from Italy: “I decided to apply, because I am passionate about sports, so I love to be part of sports events. The best university teams were going to Coimbra and I could not miss this event. Secondly, because I am doing a Master’s Degree in Sport Management and to live an experience like the EUG is the best way to learn how a sports event works, the practical organisation and what happens behind the scenes. Furthermore, I had never been in Portugal before. The atmosphere at the Sports Venue was amazing with 4000 athletes from all over Europe. The competitions were exciting, the stands full of people and the new sports fields were perfect. The most exciting thing for me was the Opening Ceremony. It was so wonderful. Moreover, Coimbra is a beautiful city and the local people treated us well. I think that material things sooner or later go away while experiences remain with us all life. Meeting people from all over Europe, living 3 weeks with them, learning new cultures and new things is priceless. I met great people and I have many new friends around Europe now, and I really hope to see them again soon.”
To take part in the EUSA Volunteer Programme, please check out the EUSA website. Application for the European Universities Championships 2019 international volunteer programme will be launched in a few months. In the meantime, read about the Shared Experiences of other volunteers from previous EUSA events!
Are you a student with an opinion? We are looking for new contributors for our student column every month. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to offer a piece or propose a topic.