What's up: Will you take the challenge? Are you ready?
The International Volunteer Day is celebrated worldwide on December 5. It is an observance designated by the United Nations since 1985, which offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individuals - who are engaged in volunteering their time, energies and skills - to make their contributions visible – at local, national and international levels. The International Volunteer Day not only promotes the importance of volunteering, but supports people who already volunteer, encourages future volunteers and helps to create new opportunities.
Barriers to volunteering still exist, in particular around the meaning of it. There are perceptions to think of volunteering as something people do for the benefit of others. Meanwhile volunteering is much more than that. When someone gives their time, energy and expertise as a volunteer, enjoy many of the advantage related with taking part. You need to try volunteering to understand what it can bring.
Volunteers have always played a key role in sport. Without the participation and dedication of volunteers, most activities and events wouldn’t be able to function. The volunteer culture is still developing. But thanks to a series of major national and international events, the aware of volunteering has grown. The host organisations get to know how important the volunteers for championships. A success of the event, to a great extent depends on the volunteers.
I discovered volunteering three years ago and I got involved, to the point that it became not only my personal but professional life as well. When I learned that the Organising Committee of the European Universities Games Zagreb-Rijeka 2016 is looking for EVS (European Voluntary Service*) volunteers to join the team for a period of 12 month, I jumped at the opportunity to offer my services. It was a great opportunity for me to become more familiar with the European university sport movement and its importance. I got the chance to try out myself as a volunteer in different sport events not only the period of my EVS service and university sport, but since then in many other.
The European Voluntary Service (EVS), now European Solidarity Corps, helps young people travel abroad to participate in volunteering projects. As an EVS volunteer, you commit yourself to the work of an organisation abroad. Volunteering projects can involve many different kinds of activities in areas such as youth work, cultural activities, social care or environmental protection. You volunteer on an unpaid and full-time basis.
I hope you got some inspiration to try out volunteering at sport events or any other topic you feel engaged with. Experience outside your field is a great opportunity to challenge yourself. For me, it’s all about meeting people from all around the world and be part of a team who shares the same outlook on volunteering – we want to help to create the best event we possibly can and enjoy every single minute.
I wish you all a great year of volunteering in the upcoming fantastic events in 2018!
The author Annamaria Szecsi studied International Relations BSc/MSc at the University of Szeged (HUN).
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