The opening ceremony of the FISU Volunteers Leaders Academy, a forum of international sports volunteers, took place in Kazan took place this week. More than 100 volunteers representing 91 nations came together in Kazan to address problems and key directions for the development of youth sport and volunteering. Kevin Ronan of Athlone Co. Westmeath is representing Ireland in his role as Vice Chairperson of Student Sport Ireland, the national governing body for sport in third level education.
Welcome speeches at the opening ceremony were delivered by President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov, FISU President Oleg Matytsin, Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin and Ambassador for the Winter Universiade Krasnoyarsk 2019, Alexei Yagudin.
The forum aims to open new ways of learning and sharing the best global practices in implementing of volunteers projects and delivery of major international events, as well as to develop an efficient platform for networking between the student volunteer movements. The programme of the forum has been elaborated for months, the cultural and educational programmes are included in the schedule.
Mr. Ronan who previously worked in Athlone Institute of Technology reflected on his experience at the forum and how it will aid volunteerism in Ireland “The forum has provided a valuable opportunity to share key knowledge about the management, coordination, retention and recruitment of volunteers in Ireland and a chance to see how other countries approach the same challenges here in Ireland”
Experts from UNESCO, IOC (International Olympic Committee), FISU, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) as well as representatives of organising committees of the upcoming international sporting events will speak at the forum.
As the sole representative of Ireland at the forum he hopes to bring ideas and initiatives home to Ireland and help implement them through his role as chairperson of the Student Sport Ireland Student Commission both north and south of The border “The level of knowledge at the forum on volunteerism and associated issues is incredible and I hope that I can take this knowledge back to Ireland and share it with my counterparts in sport and volunteerism”