Euro 2020 – It’s coming home
The climax of the European Championships is fast approaching with only 3 games to go and its great England are still a part of it (Did we ever doubt it!). Those of you that follow me on social media will be aware that I have been volunteering during the tournament so I thought as part of my blog this month I would share some of those experiences and perhaps make you think about volunteering at future major events.
The application process started a long time ago (pre covid) with the deadline for applications in July 2019. Interviews were scheduled in September and in November they confirmed I had a role as one of 1,200 volunteers needed to make the tournament a success.
In March 2020 news broke that the tournament was being put back a year. Fast forward a year and we got confirmation that the tournament was happening, online training started and my schedule arrived at the end of May. My role was to be part of the Hospitality Production Team. There were lots of ID checks to get our accreditation for the tournament and a bag of uniform to collect, a full Adidas kit including trainers (although no socks for some reason!?).
I had expected most of my shifts to be match days but on my initial schedule, I didn’t have any until 26th June luckily I was able to add in a few more when they requested additional cover. The role involved checking hospitality lounges and suites have the correct signage/ branding, sufficient stocks of programmes and gifts (such as mini balls) are in place to be distributed to guests quickly. Non-match days involve getting everything ready for match days so things can be seamlessly distributed during the match.
Working inside the stadium gives our team an opportunity to experience the atmosphere and to see some of the game, but not without hard work before the game and during the second half of the match.
The volunteer roles involved in the tournament are varied some of the others include, mobility makers (supporting fans) at the stadium, fan parks and key venues such as stations in London. Drivers who transport staff/officials across to and from airports etc. Ceremony Makers, those who are part of the opening ceremony, moving the banners and giant kits around pre-match. The concessions team who help with the logistics of feeding all the staff/volunteers and talking of food…., we are definitely well catered for.
I have enjoyed the experience and would urge you to consider it in the future too, in fact, there is another opportunity to be part of a UEFA tournament next year, with the Women’s Euro’s be hosted in England and opportunities to register now.