Sports / Events

The Reporter Diaries #2: The Lifeblood of the Athlete Village

Athlete Village – A city inside a city, the 2017 Summer Universiade Athlete Village, located in Linkou District, New Taipei City, is a place most won’t have an opportunity to experience. Reserved exclusively for competitors, coaches and support staff, the village will be home to over 7,000 athletes from around the world.

It’s a unique environment, a pool of culture, colour and language. Despite an array of different backgrounds and experience, this group of people all share one common passion; a love of sport.

While athletes and their support staff do dominate the village, there is one special team that ensure the village is a comfortable and inspiring place to live.

They are the volunteers.

And without them, there would be no Universiade.

Over 18,000 volunteers will assist FISU in bringing the 29th addition of the Summer Universiade to Taipei City, the largest event to ever be held in the city.

These people are not driven by prestige, nor glory or financial reward, the volunteers are characterised by their passion and willingness to help.

Inside the Athlete Village, volunteers help to guide athletes, coaches and support staff.

Hun Cheng, a volunteer based in the Sport Information Centre, is tasked with helping coaches.

Cheng says of his experience in the Universiade so far, “the work I’m doing is talking to coach and scheduling their training time”

When asked why he wanted to volunteer, Cheng responded by saying, “this event is international, I can learn a lot of things while I’m being a volunteer”

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With Hun Cheng inside the Sports Information Centre

 

Another young group of volunteers, based on the ground in the village, help to direct athletes.

One of the volunteers said that his motivation for giving his time was to experience a range of cultures.

“This is the biggest competition in Taiwan, it’s the first time, so I want to join it. I have not seen so many foreigners at one time so I want to enjoy the moment and enjoy this”

Volunteering in the village means that many local Taiwanese people have a chance to get close with different athletes from across the globe.

“They have so much passion. I just raised my phone to take a selfie and they all come in and so I am very glad and I am very happy” says another volunteer at based at the Athlete Village.

While stature, strength and work-ethic may help athletes become champions, it is kindness, patience and a desire to help that make the FISU volunteers a truly invaluable part of the Games.

And for this, we thank you.

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Laura Quilter (NZL), FISU Young Reporter

 

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