An event held at the Palacio Paiaguas, seat of the state government of Mato Grosso, in Cuiaba – one of the tournament's 12 Host Cities – marked the official reopening of the programme.
Among the guests present were Silval Barbosa, Governor of Mato Grosso, Mayor of Cuiaba, Silval Barbosa, Head of the Local Organising Committee's (LOC) Volunteer Programme, Mauro Mendes, federal government coordinator of the Brazil Volunteer Programme, Rodrigo Hermida and representative of the Ministry of Sport, Ricardo Cappelli.
Also in attendance were Andre Luis Sousa, a local resident who worked as a volunteer at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 who will also be present at Brazil 2014, and Igor Mota, captain of Cuiaba Arsenal and the Brazilian national American football team, on behalf of sport in the state of Mato Grosso.
The new application window for the Volunteer Programme will be open for 15 days, and may be extended for a further 15. Anyone over the age of 18 may apply. There were over 130,719 applications in the first window, 127,629 of which volunteered for the FIFA World Cup. Applicants should register on the site at this location: https://ems.fifa.com/Volunteer/Login/Brazil/.
“The aim of this window is not merely to increase the number of applications, but to attract volunteers with a wide range of different profiles, speakers of foreign languages, people with special needs, older candidates, and applicants from the country´s interior region," Rodrigo Herminda. "The 2014 FIFA World Cup Volunteer Programme strives to boost the volunteer culture in the country and to promote greater involvement by the Brazilian population in the event, in the manner and with the affection that so typifies our people.
“Furthermore, we have received several requests from abroad to reopen the programme and we therefore hope to increase the number of foreign candidates,” added Hermida.
The governor of Mato Grosso, Silval Barbosa, cracked a joke by reminding everyone that the state is the biggest producer in Brazil in several areas of agriculture and livestock breeding, and now intends to top the volunteer rankings.
“We're the biggest producers of just about everything and we now wish to supply a significant number of volunteers to show that our people make a difference and are involved in this major event. We're proud to welcome the people who are helping to organise the biggest event ever held in Brazil,” said the state governor.
The mayor of Cuiaba, Mauro Mendes, said the volunteer experience would become part of the legacy that the 2014 FIFA World Cup would leave in his city, in the state of Mato Grosso and in Brazil.
“We may be talking about a major legacy that many people haven´t noticed is there: cultural changes, which are far more wide-reaching than the major projects. Volunteer work is an essential initiative and will ensure that people can directly tap into the wealth of knowledge required to stage the greatest event in world sport,” said Mauro Mendes.
Brazilian American football player wants to be a volunteer
Representing the volunteers, computer technician Andre Luis Sousa spoke about his experience working in Brasilia during the FIFA Confederations Cup 2013 and his hopes of being a part of Brazil 2014 in his home town next year.
“I've applied to be a volunteer in Cuiaba and I thought I´d get a taste of what´s to come at the Confederations Cup. It was a really interesting and extremely important experience for me; meeting people from different cultures and opening up my professional perspectives. This time I want to take part to help give people the best possible impression of our state, of the Cuiaba people and our organisation,” declared Andre Luis.
Coordinator of the federal government Brazil Volunteer Programme and representing the Ministry of Sport, Ricardo Capelli underlined the importance of the volunteer work, saying: “Volunteer work involves great responsibility, which is why we need to both thank and take care of our volunteers. It is they who will provide the first impression that people involved in the event will take home with them. It´s a role of paramount importance,” said Capelli.
Captain of the Brazilian national American football team and of Cuiaba Arsenal, two-time national champions of the sport which is becoming increasingly popular in Mato Grosso, Igor Mota highlighted the importance of the FIFA World Cup in relation to the development of sport and the staging of large-scale events in Cuiaba.
“The infrastructure the FIFA World Cup is bringing to Brazil and particularly to our state and city is a massive boost for other sports. The impact on the visibility and growth of several different sports is going to be huge,” said Mota, who announced he too intends to apply for a job as a volunteer at Brazil 2014.