It is hard to imagine a sports event without volunteers. Similarly, volunteers cannot imagine life without sports events. We have good news for them: in a month’s time, we will be recruiting volunteers for one of the biggest sporting events in Poland in recent years – the European Universities Games 2022 in Lodz!

Most volunteers have one thing in common – whoever tried it once, wanted to come back. Hence the great popularity of sporting events. For example, for the summer Universiade in Chengdu, the organisers received as many as 690,000 applications! More than half a million people expressed their willingness to support the organisation of the event, and although the numbers are usually smaller, sports volunteering has enjoyed great popularity in recent years.

In the stories of many volunteers, special memories are linked precisely to supporting academic sporting events. EUSA (European University Sports Association) has for years been running a programme supporting voluntary work at international competitions, with up to several dozen people from Poland regularly benefiting from it.

The European Universities Games, hosted by Lodz next year, have been held since 2012. The first, in Cordoba, Spain, was supported by 300 local and 40 foreign volunteers. Two years later, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, there were already 800, including 100 from outside the country. However, it was Croatia’s Zagreb and Rijeka that required the most support, as more than 1,500 volunteers were involved in the 2016 Games, including as many as 150 from abroad. A large group represented Poland – more than 25 volunteers came from our country to take part in the celebration of academic sport for a fortnight. During the next edition, due to the smaller scale of the event, 700 volunteers were recruited, including almost 100 from abroad. Once again, Polish volunteers made up one of the largest groups.

Behind each of the numbers quoted above are people and their stories. Over the coming months, several of them will be presented on our website. Their protagonists have made special use of their experiences

They have particularly drawn on their experiences of volunteering at university sporting events. They will also try to give a glimpse of what they experienced during their trips to international competitions.

Recruitment for volunteering at the European Universities Games in Lodz will start in October. It will be a chance not only to participate in the biggest celebration of academic sport in recent years, but also to get involved in testing events. The volunteering programme during the Lodz competition assumes the participation of around 800 volunteers, also from abroad. Apart from working in one of the many areas of the event, volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in various accompanying events – sports competitions, seminars or training sessions. More information coming soon!

Photo: EUSA