"Youth as the main addressee of sport and sport policies" - we had a chat with ENGSO's
We have had a pleasure to share many journeys with Francesco Fiorini, youth professional in sports originally coming from Verona, Italy and currently working from Antwerpen, Belgium, but definitely a citizen of the world by his dedication and expertise. "My mission will always be to work not only for youth but especially with youth, in order to make the sport world a more welcoming and accessible place for young people." says this inspirational young man. Francesco has promised us that he will take us up north to the river for a canoe slalom's unforgettable ride one day, for now we have had our talk around river Vinele, Lithuania.
Engso Youth awards the Best volunteer of 2015-2017 – Francesco Fiorini, who found his happiness in sports sector and keeps fighting for the youth to be heard. EY: How do you feel about being awarded as the best volunteer 2015-2017? - Receiving this award has been an incredible honor for me: ENGSO Youth has given me so much since I joined this big family, in terms of network, inspiration, career opportunities and, most importantly, human relationships and friendship. I am glad to know that, through my activity as a Young Delegate, I managed to give something back!
EY: What were your first steps in sports and how did you become a sport volunteer? - I’ve always been involved in sports since I was a kid. I come from a sporty family and I was always encouraged to try as many sports as possible and to live by the values that sport transmits. I competed in canoe slalom for several years; however, I never managed to achieve relevant results. In the meantime, I completed my studies in international relations. The end of my studies coincided with the end of my competitive career in canoe slalom, and I immediately felt as if I needed to keep sports in my life at all costs. This is why I began volunteering in sport events/organisations and, at the same time looking for career opportunities in the sport sector. Volunteering provided me with a set of skills that I would not have been able to develop otherwise and allowed me to get in contact with all the people I know today in the sport sector, many of which I can also call my friends. Why did you choose ENGSO Youth and what ENGSO Youth represents for you? - I first got in touch with ENGSO Youth in 2014: I was then looking for a job in sports and, honestly, in the beginning I considered ENGSO Youth as just another opportunity to grow my network. What actually made the difference is the people I met during my first ENGSO Youth experiences: I realised that this organisation was not just about getting random projects done, but it truly has a mission to get people together, building bridges between them and has the power to make you feel part of a big family. What I found in ENGSO Youth is a bunch of young dreamers: I realised that I shared many of their dreams and objectives. And pursuing these dreams and objectives with friends is always better than trying to do it by yourself. This is what ENGSO Youth has become, for me, today: that bunch of young dreamers became a bunch of friends working all around me with similar objectives and the same passion for sport!
EY: What are your plans for the future and how will ENGSO Youth will be involved in it? - At the moment I am working as a sport manager at the International School Sport Federation (ISF). I love the job and the work environment: we are a very young and committed team, and some of my colleagues are also part of ENGSO Youth. Therefore, my plan for the near future is to give my best for the ISF. As the ISF is located in Belgium, this will allow me to keep up my work as a Young Delegate for ENGSO Youth and to take part in the many activities related to youth sport taking place in and around Brussels. In the long term, I would like to move to Lausanne, where most of the international sport federations are located, and continue my career there, with one thought always in my mind: youth is the main addressee of sport and sport policies; thus, my mission will always be to work not only for youth but especially with youth, in order to make the sport world a more welcoming and accessible place for young people. EY: Would you like to say something to the new ENGSO Youth Young Delegates? - Young Delegates are a group of amazingly skilled people: as one of their peers, any “technical” advice would probably be redundant. The only thing I feel like saying to them is to keep doing the things they are passionate for and to remember that ENGSO Youth is not only an organisation working on many different projects, but it mainly is a group of young people that are passionate for the same thing, sport. It is a group of friends and I am happy this family is growing. Francesco acts as a display of the possibilities that are present in volunteering within the youth sport sector.
Francesco is 28 years old and is former canoe slalom athlete and sport lover. He is coming from Italy, but is fluent in few other languages. His background is in International Relations and International Sport Management. As a volunteer, he took part in different mega sport-events such as EYOF (2015), the European Games (2015) and the Winter Youth Olympic Games (2016), before taking on a job in VIP management at the UEFA Euro 2016. He entered the ENGSO Youth network in 2014 and is a Young Delegate since 2016. He currently works as Sport and Development Manager at the International School Sport Federation (ISF) and cooperates with the Italian Rafting Federation.The ENGSO Youth Committee is very proud to have Francesco Fiorini, a young, motivated and incredibly active and committed young man as a volunteer in our ENGSO Youth Young Delegeates Network, and have awarded Francesco with the “ENGSO Youth Best Volunteer Award 2017” for his outstanding achievements in the European Youth Sport Volunteer Sector.