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The Organising Committee of the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games has completed the official call for volunteers. More than 8000 candidates from 111 countries from all over the world have registered in the system. The oldest candidate is 93 years old! A Polish woman living in the United States applied to visit her homeland for the first time after 16 years. The organisers are still accepting applications as part of the additional recruitment.

The Volunteer Division of the Organising Committee for the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games was established last October, and more than 8000 people have signed up to volunteer to date. Volunteers will work in 13 cities at 29 sports to provide organisational support for Europe’s largest sporting event in 2023. They will become the showcase of the upcoming event and create its extraordinary atmosphere. Volunteers will be needed in all locations – in sports arenas, airports, hotels, or media centers. They will support athletes, coaches, referees, tourists, journalists, and fans.

Who will be the volunteers of Kraków-Małopolska 2023?

What drove the candidates to volunteering? Why did they decide to apply? Among the most frequently cited motivations are the desire to help, gain experience, and personal development. Most applicants also point out, how important it is for them to have the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world. They also want to be part of an important event.

Among the applicants, there were representatives of every age group. Young people – schoolchildren and students, were dominating. But, what’s interesting, there were also no shortage of applications from senior citizens and whole families. Every opportunity is great to work together and creating stronger bond, while making precious memories. Many people treat this activity also as a break from their daily work and responsibilities.

Applications in numbers

The most popular departments are the Volunteer Centre and Sports Volunteering. Among the disciplines, ski jumping is leading, and among the cities, Krakow. As many as 40 percent say they are willing to get involved in organisational activities before the event even begins, and 1700 people have indicated their willingness to carry out student volunteer internships.

30 percent are the applications from foreign candidates. The Organising Committee received applications from 111 countries around the world. Europe leads the way – in terms of the number of applications, Spain is the leader ahead of the UK and Germany. The offer of volunteering at the 2023 European Games has reached every corner of the world, as evidenced by applications from Peru or Australia, for example. Even people from China are interested in volunteering. 60% of all applications are women. The largest age group is 16-19 years old. The oldest volunteer candidate comes from Poland and is 93 years old!

Returning to Poland after 16 years

Recruitment is a two-stage process. After analyzing the forms, the next step is recruitment interviews with selected candidates. Recruiters usually rate the motivation of individual candidates very highly, and many interesting stories emerge during the interviews. An example is a Polish woman living in the United States, who learned about the European Games at a Polish community meeting. She volunteered to help organise this important event and to visit her home country for the first time in 16 years.

Many candidates impress with their willingness to get involved. They often have an amazing experience. Great example is Mr. Thomas, who has completed as many as 97 sports volunteering assignments over the past seven years. His latest adventure was volunteering at the World Cup in Qatar. On the occasion of the European Games, he wants to gain experience that will help him engage at the Paris Olympics next year.

During the interviews, it became clear that volunteering is a unique opportunity for young people from small towns. On a daily basis, they don’t have the opportunity to get involved in organising large events, show off their skills or gain valuable experience. The European Games are a chance for them to meet new people and integrate. The interest among this group proves how much social and developmental potential volunteering has.

Promotional reach of volunteering

Volunteering during the European Games Kraków-Małopolska 2023 is an offer aimed at everyone, regardless of age and experience. With this in mind, the organisers tried to reach as many different groups as possible: universities, schools, student and school organisations, sports clubs, scout associations, language schools, libraries, community centers, volunteer centres, universities for seniors, and senior activity centres.

Graphics and promotional materials were distributed throughout the country. In Małopolska, volunteering was also promoted through posters and flyers. Volunteer Division coordinators held dozens of meetings at universities and schools throughout the region.

Additional recruitment If you want to join other volunteers – there’s still a chance! Although the official recruitment has come to an end, the organisers are accepting applications for additional recruitment. Candidates can still fill out the application form and join the recruitment: https://www.european-games.org/volunteers/. The final results of the recruitment will be announced in May. At that time, volunteers will undergo training to equip them with the knowledge they need to operate effectively during the Kraków-Małopolska 2023 European Games.