Within the framework of the International Volunteer Forum 2019 in Sochi, Russia, Save the Dream has organized, jointly with Future Team - an international movement bringing together prominent young leaders and professionals from 180 countries - a special event to discuss the role of youth in sport volunteerism both in the context of major sporting events and “sport for development and peace” projects. The four-day Forum brought together over 6,500 participants from all over the world who shared their experiences in implementing successful volunteer initiatives and pave the path to future collective efforts, including but not limited to sport volunteerism. The International Volunteer Forum is the event of the Russian Federation conceived to promote the role of youth in society through different forms of volunteerism, with a view of further promoting national and international policies in this domain.
In particular, Save the Dream hosted a debate under the title of “Volunteering at Major Sporting Events and Beyond: An Avenue of Opportunities” with the aim of provoking insights from leaders in sport and civil society on the role of sport volunteers in the promotion of sport values, focusing on a wide range of concepts, from integrity to social inclusion, protection of human rights and peace-building.
The discussion also focused on methodologies to design volunteer programs, as well as on ways to promote benefits for young volunteers and create new opportunities to foster global citizenship through sport volunteerism.
During the discussion, Dr. Bahruz Balayev, Acting Director, Legacy & Innovation at ICSS INSIGHT and moderator of the panel said "the trajectory of young people becoming sport volunteers is in rise and it is time to shift the paradigm towards utilizing sport volunteerism not only during wide scale events but also in international development and humanitarian context".
Massimiliano Montanari, Executive Director of Save the Dream said:
"Volunteers should always have as priority the cause they intend to serve; but we, as international community, should have as priority the development of more advanced policies, mechanisms and tools to support volunteers in preparation, during and after the completion of their mission”.
Speaking at the panel Alexander Maksimov, Head of Volunteer program UEFA Euro 2020 in St. Petersburg mentioned that "the major sporting events contribute to the development of international cooperation and intercultural dialogue". The panel also featured Honey Thaljieh, FIFA Corporate Communications Manager, Save the Dream Ambassador, co-founder of women's football in Palestine said "Katerina Salta, International Olympic Truce Centre, Founder of Hestia Football Club, the first refugee and migrant women football team in Greece shared her personal story of sport volunteerism".
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