27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

Kazan volunteers successfully complete their work in Brazil

Alia Khisamova and Polina Fomenko - two volunteers from Russia who were lucky enough to work at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil - shared their experiences with the staff of the Executive Directorate for Sports Projects. For more than two weeks the girls have been working in the Brazilian city of Cuiaba whose Arena Pantanal hosted the group stage of the football championship.

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In accordance with the tasks they were charged with before their trip to Brazil, the girls studied special features of the tournament management, operation of the organising committee and functional areas (FAs), as well as the World Cup's volunteer programme. Polina and Alia provided some insight into the running of such functional areas as Transport, Press Operations, Arrivals and Departures, Catering, Uniform Distribution, Security, Accreditation, Event Services and others. Delivery of services was analysed in the context of the volunteers client group. The girls also brought from Brazil pieces of merchandise and printed products, handbooks and manuals across certain areas.

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Volunteers from Russia stayed in Brazil from 11 to 26 June - during this period they were able to examine in detail the peculiarities of the host city's event management. The girls were assigned to the following functional areas: Transport and Media. As part of the transport volunteer team, Alia Khisamova provided high-quality transport services for those accredited in the VIP client group. Polina Fomenko's area of responsibilities in the Media FA was to assist the media and help the organisers create the most comfortable working environment for this client group.

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One of Alia Khisamova'a brightest memories related to the volunteer experience in Brazil was the arrangement of transport service for the President of Chile: "Information on the arrival of VIP guests was confirmed at the last moment. We needed to urgently strengthen the motorcade and security. We did everything we could to solve the task. It was great to receive praise and high commendation from managers. At that moment I felt strongly my own importance and my contribution to the common cause."

The eligibility criterion for being shortlisted for Russia's volunteer team to Brazil was the knowledge of Portuguese and it was a big advantage for girls. The volunteers who speak English, Spanish and Portuguese, were particularly in demand - in their positions the girls were mediators between English-speaking participants, visitors and representatives of the organising committee, volunteers who speak only their native language - Portuguese. Polina Fomenko, who worked at the information desk in the media centre, shares his impressions: "From the very first day tasks flooded at me at the information desk: to tell, to call, to meet, to translate, to explain, to explain again in another language, etc. It was nice to meet a group of journalists from Russia - they were very surprised to meet a Russian-speaking person in Brazil. During their entire stay in Cuiaba they approached me with all kinds of questions - about the stadium, about the competition, about the city, about me. They asked me how we got to the World Cup, how many foreign languages we ​​know, whether we have volunteer experience and what other events we already worked at. And then I saw my photo on a website with the following words below: "There is a girl named Polina in the press centre. Find her, her knowledge of Russian will save you!"

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Now, upon arrival back home, the girls are trying to resynchronise their sleep patterns after travelling across several time zones and are already preparing for a new event - the World Fencing Championships, which are due to be held in Kazan from 15 to 23 July. They expressed only one wish - to have the opportunity to work with teams from Brazil, Chile and Portugal so that to practice the language and to re-experience the vivid memories they have from the emotionally charged events at the FIFA World Cup.

 

Press Department of Executive Directorate for Sports Projects