TOKYO/ZURICH – The volunteer briefing for the IIHF Semi-Annual and General Congress took place this week in Tokyo, Japan at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa, the nerve centre for what will be the 135th Congress in the IIHF’s history.
The IIHF General Congress is the IIHF's highest legislative body and makes decisions about the rules of the game, statutes, and bylaws for the next four years. The General Congress, which is made up by representatives from all IIHF member associations, meets every four years and also elects the president and the council.
With each member association sending at least two delegates, there will be a total of approximately 160 delegates in attendance, bringing the total number of General Congress attendees to around 320 people.
With so many attendees coming from over 70 nations, a team of dedicated volunteers is needed to ensure that the congress runs smoothly.
The volunteer group is 34-person strong and can speak several different languages. The group includes 21 students from the Kanda University for international studies.
Kanda University is located in the eastern part of Tokyo and specialized in providing English proficiency courses to university students in addition to their original curriculum.
On Tuesday they were informed about and assigned to their respective tasks and duties.
The areas where the volunteers will service the delegates and the organization are structured in over eight different segments. For the main arrival day on 24 September 2012 alone, 20 volunteers and their supervisors are assigned to the airports to welcome delegates arriving in two different airports.
All in all it is estimated that the group delivers over 150 hours of work during the congress period, which will last a week.
Volunteers also received the volunteer apparel sponsored by IIHF partner Nike. The mission for these volunteers is to see that over 320 delegates and guests leave Tokyo with a sense of contentment after enjoying a well-organized congress.
In attendance along with the volunteers was IIHF Vice President Shoichi Tomita, Japan Ice Hockey Federation General Secretary Hiroshi Harada, IIHF Deputy General Secretary Hannes Ederer and the IIHF’s Asian Sport Development Manager Harald Springfeld.
In addition to the volunteers, representatives from the Swedish Ice Hockey Association will also be assigned to various tasks as part of their observer program to organize the next IIHF Annual Congress hosted in Stockholm, Sweden in May 2013.
Click here for the 2012 IIHF Semi-Annual and General Congress website.
Compiled by IIHF Staff