I personally do not have a classic volunteer experience in helping children or people in difficulty. However, I cannot say that I did nothing concerning volunteer work.
It all started in 2016 when, on the Facebook group of my University, one of my professors shared a post from the city’s volleyball team.
The city volleyball team, the Kioene Padova, is one of the top 10 volleyball team in Italy. It is in the SuperLega championship (comparable to the football Serie A or Ligue 1) that is the best volleyball championship in the world. No foreign volleyball championship has as many good teams as the SuperLega and all the best players choose to play in Italy.
They were looking for hostesses to help them with the public attending the matches.
I love volleyball, it is my favorite sport and I had never thought that I could apply to such a position since in some arenas this type of job is done by other volunteer organizations.
So I applied and I got accepted. However, I could not start right away since I had to go to Belgium to do my Erasmus experience there.
Nevertheless, I started as soon as I got back to Italy and I have been volunteering there since then. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic situation, the arenas are closed to the public, so I do not know if I will be able to continue to work there for this sporting season.
We hostesses do not have an actual uniform, at the beginning we just had to dress with some jeans, a white shirt and a black jacket. Then, the white shirt turned into a green t-shirt with the main sponsor on it, the official supporters green t-shirt.
My main activities were not at all difficult, but I had a lot in return. I just had to go there early, usually three hours before the beginning of the match to distribute the match programs and other pamphlets. Seeing the arena so empty, with no one around alway gives me a sense of peace and of powerfulness.
Then, when they opened the doors to let the public in, I had to help people find their place to sit and helping them if they needed it or help in case of catering. At the same time I could watch the field and see the players warming up. I have to say, that’s a really nice view. Sometimes I had to be at the entrance to check the tickets, so no warming-up for me, helas!
During the match I could do what I wanted, so I basically always set and watched the match for free. Moreover, to repay us hostesses for our work, we had the possibility to accredit a person to enter for free. There is nothing better than watching a volleyball match in the arena, sitting next to your boyfriend who just became a volleyball referee.
At the end of the match, I had to place myself at the entrance of the court to prevent people from entering it before it was allowed. Everyone wants to take a picture with their favourite volleyball player, especially if they are extremely famous: Juantorena, Atanasijevic, Leon, and, above all, Zaytzev (oh, I hate when Kioene Padova plays against Zaytzev’s team!)
Marta Bragagnolo, intern@ICDET