Volunteering, as an unpaid and non-profit activity, is of extraordinary importance for the organization of any kind of event, and it is certain that without the contribution of volunteers it would not be possible to organize any major event, including sports competitions. For example, more than 100,000 volunteers were involved in the organization of the last Summer Olympics in Tokyo, while the organization of the WC in Qatar is currently supported by about 20,000 volunteers.
For this reason, and on International Volunteers Day, which is celebrated every year at the beginning of December (December 5), we would like to highlight the importance of volunteering as a socially important sector.
On this occasion, since beach handball tournament Jarun cup was also involved, we would like to inform the public about the results of a recently completed project to promote volunteering at beach handball competitions.
The project called Be(ach) volunteer, Be(ach) Fair! includes partners from Croatia (Academic Beach Handball Club Zagreb as coordinator), the Netherlands (Camelot Beach Handball Tournament), Slovenia (EUSA Institute) and Poland (AZS Student Association). Due to its characteristics, the atmosphere during the tournaments and the rules, beach handball is an excellent platform for promoting volunteerism and a positive atmosphere among the participants. For a young amateur sport like beach handball, which is on its way to the Olympic Games, a broader volunteer base, promotion of volunteerism, and promotion of the sport (beach handball) itself are urgently needed.
Over the past two years, project participants have held numerous working meetings and promoted fair play and volunteering at more than ten beach handball tournaments in the project's partner countries, including the European University Games, which were held in Poland in 2022. During these two years, surveys were conducted with tournament participants on the needs of volunteers in organizing major events.
The analysis of the aforementioned surveys and the results of the project have produced future guidelines and recommendations that are extremely important for the experience of future volunteers at beach handball competitions. The results of the project and the guidelines can be found at www.BeachVolunteers.com
The whole project, to our knowledge the first ever on beach handball in Europe, was co-funded with EU funds from the Erasmus+ Sport program.