Today’s stars, tomorrow’s leaders
The International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) Volunteer Leaders Academy is organised for the very first time in Kazan between 2–8 July 2017, as a legacy of Kazan 2013 Summer Universiade. 110 participants from 91 FISU member countries are attending at the event, which aims to inspire young people who are actively involved in university sport to be the “leaders of tomorrow” pursuing the motto “Excellence in Mind and Body”. The Universiade Village serves as the accommodation for the representatives from all over the world, while the educational activities take place in the Volga Region State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism (FISU International Education Centre during the Universiade), giving a special atmosphere to the event.
Experts from FISU, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Universiade and FIFA World Cup Organising Committees, EF Education First, Foundation of Sports and Olympism, Serbian Olympic Committee and JTA Company share their experience and knowledge in leadership and sport volunteering with the young participants. Lectures, panel discussions, workshops, networking activities, group discussions and projects are organised throughout the 7 days of the academy, where participants have the opportunity to address questions and recommendations to FISU, IOC and other represented sports organisations in sport and volunteering, as well as to share their own stories, experiences and projects.
“I dare say, without such proactive and imaginative young people it is impossible to host major international events. But to organise volunteer activities, we need educational programmes” says President of Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov.
IOC’s Head of Sport Partnerships and Coordination and former triple jump champion in Australia, Jenny Mann joined the discussions online and provided advices to the young volunteers how to contribute to the organisation of a successful event. “I was hoping to compete at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, but I got injured. I wanted to be part of the Games in my home country, so I paid my own way and volunteered in Sydney for ten weeks. You can sit in an office and write every event need and have the best plan, but none of that matters unless you have the right people on the ground. It’s more about the network of people than the actual run sheets.”
The young volunteer leaders have the privilege to discover the Russian and Tatar culture and traditions through cultural activities. Besides that, a guided tour has been organised to the world’s only Universiade Museum. The final project of the academy is to prepare a draft program for the International Day of University Sport, which is celebrated every year all around the world on 20 September.
"The volunteers from different parts of the world have come here, and everyone has a story to tell. I think that for us, volunteers from Krasnoyarsk, it will be truly a great learning experience. The educational programme is also very promising, the trainings seem to be intense and entertaining," says Maria from Krasnoyarsk.
Anna Edes and Anett Fodor, ENGSO Youth Delegate candidates and participants of the European Youth Sport Forum in Malta are attending at the event as well. They hope to use the valuable experiences which they gain at the academy by supporting several international sports organisations in the future.