Despite the fact that volunteer positions are not paid, they are always in high demand. Through these positions devoted hockey fans can be part of one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Volunteers gain unique experience from organizing a world-class event, and they experience a once-in-a-lifetime atmosphere that an ordinary spectator cannot see. For many, this experience can be an important part of their future as well. Each volunteer gets a uniform, and during their workday everyone is provided free meals, water and public transport within the city. After the end of the championship all volunteers get a certificate which gives them a valuable memory of their experience. However, accommodation and transportation to the venue are the responsibility of each volunteer.
“We would not be able to organize the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship without volunteers. I greatly appreciate the work of hundreds of enthusiasts who contribute to the fact that we can welcome the top ice hockey teams in Slovakia. I believe we will have no problem to close our recruitment process by the end of December, from which we will choose approximately 700 volunteers who will be part of the organization of the championship,” said Slovakia Ice Hockey Federation president Martin Kohut.
There will be a wide variety of volunteering positions available at the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. After being selected, volunteers will be assigned particular responsibilities. Some will welcome the participants and provide them with all the necessary information about their participation. Others will take care of before- and after-match ceremonies, and another group will be in charge of maintaining perfect conditions of all the facilities in the arenas. Still others will work in the media centre or organize fans in the stands and the fan zones.
“We appreciate the work of the volunteers. Their role is particularly important during big and organizationally demanding events such as the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. We cannot imagine how we would handle the top-level events without them. They helped greatly eight years ago at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Kosice and again in 2013 when Kosice was the European Capital of Culture. I believe next year there will be enough people in our two host cities who will contribute to the successful operation of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship,” Martin Petrusko, the stand-in City Mayor of Kosice, added.
There will be more than 700 volunteers contributing to the smooth operation of the championship in Slovakia next year. Some 400 will work in Bratislava. “Volunteers are an important part of the championship organization. Volunteers and also the citizens of Bratislava are irreplaceable when it comes to the contact with the foreign visitors - the citizens become the ambassadors of their city. They help to create the picture that the foreign visitors take home together with the sporting experience,” said the chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Bratislava Tourist Board, Alzbeta Melicharova.
Around 300 volunteers will temporarily move to Kosice, which will also be the European Volunteering Capital from January 2019. “Volunteering in Kosice has a long tradition. Many people from Kosice and many not-for-profit organizations dedicated to volunteering deserve our gratitude and respect. Their work is maybe not so visible at first, but without their dedicated and patient work, our city would not be so beautiful and successful,” said the Deputy Mayor of Kosice, Renata Lenartova.
As just one of many examples, the task of some volunteers is to maintain the facilities and equipment in every team’s dressing room. “It is very important for each game that the players can focus fully on their performance, and for that they have certain needs. I strongly appreciate the people who create the perfect conditions for us in the background,” Ladislav Nagy, a long-time Slovak national team player, said. “In my opinion, volunteering is a healthy way to contribute to the smooth running of events in Slovakia. We are a hospitable and kind-hearted nation. I believe we will prove it again at next year’s championship.“
Most of the volunteers will be working during the championship, from 10 to 26 May 2019. An important condition is that they must be over 18 years old and have good English-speaking skills. As well, they must be available for at least 10 days during the championship.
“People interested in becoming a volunteer can register at the official championship website 2019.iihfworlds.com. At this time, they will choose three positions they would most like to work. The recruiting will end on 31 December 2018, after which there will be interviews to determine the final selection of volunteers for the World Championship,” explained the 2019 IIHF WM Head of Media & Communication, Michaela Grendelova.
Click here for more information and the registration form.