What's up: Welcoming European Solidarity Corps

What's up: Welcoming European Solidarity Corps

In today’s What’s Up Column, we speak to EUSA Assistant Sports Manager Liam Smith and EUSA Media and Communications Officer Fabio De Dominicis, who joined the EUSA Institute in our office in Ljubljana as European Solidarity Corps participants.

Liam Smith

For as long as I can remember I have been around sports, either playing or watching it live or on the TV – sport has always been a core part of who I am. Growing up in the UK, there was an endless list of sports men and women to look up to, competing at the highest level in almost all sport disciplines, inspiring people like me to be involved with sport.

Of course the most important sport in the UK is Football, which led me into training and playing the sport a minimum of twice a week for more than 15 years. This was alongside being part of a Kickboxing club for more than 10 years, as well as a range of other sports offered inside and outside of school. Upon finishing high school, I went to university to study Physical Education and School Sport with the aim of becoming a school teacher.

Liam hiking in the Soca valley

After graduation, I needed a change of scenery, but I wanted to be productive and make the most of my early 20s. Thankfully EUSA placed me on their internship programme where I had the opportunity to be part of the EUSA Office, and participate at their official events such as the Convention, as well as the European Universities Championships 2017. Provided with the opportunity to continue working in EUSA, I stayed for one more year to be a part of the European Universities Games Coimbra 2018.

Liam awarding medals at the European Universities Badminton Championship in Lodz

To further develop myself professionally, I decided to move to Brussels to complete another internship at the European Olympic Committees EU Office, to work more on sport policy and to further understand the European model of sport. It was a great experience where I learnt a lot of valuable knowledge, however I knew that my skills and qualities were better suited for sport event operations, so I was happy to return to EUSA, and to further develop both myself as well as the European university sports movement.

Fabio De Dominicis

I am of Italian heritage, but was born and raised in South Africa where I did my schooling and thereafter, my university studies as well.

From a young age I enjoyed sport – I was (and am still) not great at any particular sport, but enjoy participating in a variety of different sporting codes, and am the first to raise my hand when a team is in need of an extra player. My passion for sport combined with a love for writing spurred on my desire to pursue a career in Sports Journalism, and I therefore completed by Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University in South Africa.

Fabio taking part in the Business Run Ljubljana

While studying, I applied and was selected as part of the FISU Young Reporters Programme at the Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia in 2013 – an experience of a lifetime which I thoroughly enjoyed and where I learnt an incredible amount, which further motivated me to continue my pursuit of a career in sport. After graduating, I then worked in the media as a journalist and sub-editor for South African football magazine KICK OFF, contributing to both the publication’s print and online platforms.

After half a decade, I felt the need for a fresh challenge and new experience, and through my previous experiences in university sport at the FISU YRP, made my way to Ljubljana, Slovenia to join the media department at EUSA.

Fabio moderating a session at the FISU-EUSA Seminar in Kranjska Gora

My first five months have been an incredible ride as I continue to grow in a very new and different environment while meeting an array of talented and passionate people who are all united in one cause: to grow the image of university sport across Europe.

EUSA, through its Institute, is a proud European Solidarity Corps quality label owner, being able to host and take part in volunteering activities, jobs and traineeships, as well as solidarity projects, supported by the European Union and the Slovenian national agency Movit.

Are you a student with an opinion? We are looking for new contributors for our student column every month. Feel free to contact stc@eusa.eu to offer a piece or propose a topic.