3 July 2017, Kazan: More than 100 volunteers from 91 countries gathered today as FISU President Oleg Matytsin opened the first FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy, joined by Olympic champion figure skater Alexey Yagudin and leader of the Republic of Tatarstan, President Rustam Minnikhanov.  

President Matytsin praised the role of volunteers in sport and hoped that everyone in attendance would benefit from the inaugural event.

“Russia continues to demonstrate its openness and commitment to the ideals of Olympism. I am confident that the participants here will feel this atmosphere and take a real vision of this back to their countries,” President Matytsin said.

Yagudin, a four-time world champion who won gold at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, said that volunteers were critical in ensuring major events ran smoothly.

“Without volunteers, sport in the world would not be so successful,” Yagudin said. “I am happy to see a big delegation of Russians here, some of whom will go to Taipei for the 2017 Summer Universiade later this year.

“Travels like that will be so useful for future leaders of the volunteer sector. It is an invaluable experience, which they can then utilise when we host the 2019 Universiade in Russia.”

The main goals of the forum are to create opportunities for studying and sharing best practice related to volunteer projects and programs for major international events, as well as securing an effective communication platform for the development of student volunteer communities. Experts are at the forum representing FISU, WADA, IOC and UNESCO, as well as participants from organising committees for future international sporting events.

“I want to say thank you to more than 20 thousand volunteers; participants of Summer Universiade in 2013, the FINA World Aquatics Championships in 2015 and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017,” President Minnikhanov said.

“Many of these volunteers will also help us in organizing FIFA World Cup in 2018 as well as the WorldSkills competition in 2019. Without such enterprising and creative young people, it is probably impossible to hold major international events.

“But in order to organise volunteer activities we need some educational programs. In my opinion, sport volunteering in Russia was born in Kazan and we are so happy that the first FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy is here in Kazan.”

The FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy-2017 international forum will take place in Kazan, hosted by the Volga State Academy of Sport and Tourism until July 8.

For more information:

Contact: Anna Manuelian

Email: anna@jtassocs.com

Telephone: +41 (0) 78 630 6127