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06 July 2017 | in FISU, Education, FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy

FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy focus on Olympic Movement

The IOC's head of sport partnerships and coordination spoke to Academy attendees about how to take their event management skills to the next level 


Kazan, July 6 2017 – On day four of the FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy delegates learned about volunteer management at global events. The day’s events started with a guest lecture from International Olympic Committee (IOC) expert Jenny Mann.


Now Head of Sport Partnerships and Coordination at the IOC, Mann discussed her own volunteering past, as well as the practicalities of making an event successful.


“Even as an elite junior athlete, I wasn’t just interested in athletics,” the former Australian triple jump champion said. “I was hoping to compete at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, but I got injured. I wanted to be part of the Games in my home country, so I paid my own way and volunteered in Sydney for ten weeks.”

The attendee from Senegal (centre) asked Mann for tips when organisers moved from the planning to the execution stage of major event delivery (PC: ANO Directorate for Sports and Social Projects)

 “You can sit in an office and write every event need and have the best plan, but none of that matters unless you have the right people on the ground”, she said. “When I worked at the World Duathlon Championships, I would tell everyone the day before the event to put down the technical manuals and just know how you deal with the issues that arise, and who you would escalate them to. It’s more about the network of people than the actual run sheets.”


Mann also emphasised the importance of recognising volunteers and their talents, as well providing opportunities for development.


Academy attendees also were interested in Mann's experience in getting her start in event delivery and sport event coordination (PC: (PC: ANO Directorate for Sports and Social Projects)

 “We need to demonstrate the benefits of volunteering and maximise these for those that contribute. Volunteers are getting training and getting experience and this is great for the organising committee, but it must also be beneficial for the volunteers as well.”


Later in the day, a separate session on the management of volunteers at major events was co-led by Nataša Janković, a member of the Serbian Olympic Committee, and Tatiana Nikulina, who is part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee in Russia.


The first FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy 2017 international forum is hosted by the Volga State Academy of Sport and Tourism and will conclude on July 8.