International Volunteer Day is celebrated every year on the December 5. One of the most important segments of the organization of all major events, such as the 5th European University Games in Belgrade next summer, from the very beginning, receives the special attention of the organization team members who celebrated this day in the EUG 2020 office last Thursday.

This was the chance to hear more about preparations for one of the biggest sports events of the year, from the Head of Volunteer department, Mr Vuk Stevanovic.

What is the importance of volunteerism, its role in sport and society in general?

– Generally speaking, the importance is enormous, especially in economically less developed countries. The term “volunteerism” is derived from the Latin word “voluntas” meaning free will or personal choice and is based on ideas of self-help and philanthropy. So if it is not voluntary, it loses its essence. As the culture of volunteerism in one country grows, the culture of that country grows at the same time, as is the case with Serbia. At the same time, it affects the economic benefit of a country, the development of a stable society, the improvement of quality of life, and it has a positive impact on the development of personality, especially in children. Organizing a sporting event, especially as big as the 5th European University Games, is unthinkable without volunteers, they are the strongest link in the chain.

Early last month, the volunteer application process for the 5th European University Games in Belgrade started. What is the ideal profile of the young person who wants to volunteer at an event like this one?

– The campaign started on November 4th, entries are available at https://eug2020.eu/volunteers/. The goal is to have 2300 volunteers at the Games and for now, it is going great. In the first month, there were already about 1000 people registered, so after the recruitment, we started the selection process. A person who wants to volunteer at EUG2020 must be smiling, punctual, persistent, motivated, eager for new experiences and ready for teamwork.

One of the first actions was to participate in the Belgrade’s Sports Fair at the end of November. How everything went?

– The 8th Sports Fair was the first public presentation of both, the company and Volunteers Sector. In those three days, we gathered creditable volunteers from previous competitions, hung out and played with them, strengthened relationships and made plans for the coming period. By the way, we presented to interested visitors of the Fair what they can expect if they become part of our team.

The 5th European University Games will bring together over 5,000 athletes from 400 universities from 40 countries in the Serbian capital from July 12 to 25 next year.