The European Youth Games for the Disabled is also based on volunteers. During the 9th year, 120 of them will take turns on the sports ground. The vast majority of them come to help from the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University. We are bringing you an interview with their coordinator - Sylva Hřebíčková.
In just a few days, the 9th European Youth Games for the Disabled will start in Brno. Volunteers are an integral part of the event. How many of them are needed?
We will need a total of 120 volunteers. But some of them will take turns in their positions.
Do the volunteers need any special experience?
In our team, we really do welcome most people who have the desire to help. The advantage, of course, is an experience with volunteering, empathy and communicative approach. Most of the volunteers are students of the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University. Almost 99 percent of volunteers are young people under the age of 35. In some selected positions, handicapped volunteers help out themselves, other positions are filled by Emil Open’s corporate partners whose employees want to participate in the organization. And we are very pleased with that. We appreciate everyone who offers help.
What does such a volunteer participation in the Emil Open look like? What is the job about?
It always depends on the specific position. For example, an accommodation assistance is similar to an information office in an international format. The volunteer must have a perfect overview of the games, great language skills, understand the logistics of transport to both the sports ground and the accommodation of athletes, he must have an overview of current events in Brno and know what program can the Moravian metropolis offer athletes and their accompaniment in their free time. Other positions on the sports ground ensure a smooth running of the tournament or race, the team delegates work through the whole time with individual expeditions of the participating countries from abroad and they take care of their stay in Brno.
Do the volunteers undergo some special training before the event starts?
Of course. On one hand, as part of the general training which concerns the safety and self-performance of volunteering, and on the other hand, they will also become acquainted with the precautions within COVID-19. If they are part of the implementation team, then they also undergo training in individual sports.
It is a voluntary activity, people work without the right to financial reward. Do they receive any non-financial reward?
Each of the volunteers performs activities in their free time or on their holiday, students can do so in terms of an internship. There is no financial benefit for this work. However, the reward is volunteering clothing and refreshments. And also the opportunity to take part in the accompanying program. And that is very interesting every year. The most important thing for everyone is the good feeling that they helped organize sports competitions for the disabled and a smile on the face of every athlete.