Volunteers at the heart of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Official Draw

The period leading up to and including the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 Official Draw was a great opportunity for 270 Russian and international volunteers to pick up unique experiences and feed off positive emotions from meeting interesting new people.

Volunteers from all 11 Host Cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – as well as from 11 countries in total – went through training exercises and were then put to work in the build-up to the Confederations Cup Official Draw. For almost a week, they have been helping organisers and guests in different ways, including transport and accreditation, meeting people at the airport and providing media services.

During this time, the volunteers were not only able to press on with their duties, but also to receive special training in key areas. Some even starred in a video clip explaining their work at the draw in Kazan.

Olga Tokareva from the Russia 2018 Volunteer Centre in Rostov-on-Don had already volunteered at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Draw in Saint Petersburg last summer, the Winter Olympics in Sochi and various other sporting events. She revealed exactly how she is helping event organisers in Kazan and her impressions about the atmosphere in the city at the moment.

“It's cold in Kazan right now but heart-warming as well,” Olga said. “We were greeted with true Tatar hospitality. In fact, this is very important for volunteers! We assist for these emotions, new acquaintances and the process as a whole. When you see that people are expecting you and are pleased to see you, it gives you motivation to do more and help more effectively.

“I've got lots of volunteering experience in different sectors, but here I'm working in transport. Last July I volunteered at Pulkovo Airport for the Russia 2018 Preliminary Draw and I specifically applied for this area here because I think it is the only way you can show yourself in a different light and learn something new.”

Ten foreign volunteers joined their Russian counterparts in helping out with the preparations for the Confederations Cup Draw. After a few days spent in a team of new friends and like-minded people, they had already learned a few important words and phrases in Russian like “Hi! How are you?”, “thank you” and “please”.

Francois Tondreau is from France and has worked as a shop manager for two years. The 26-year-old first decided to try out as a volunteer for UEFA EURO 2016. The atmosphere at the tournament and the chance to be part of football history inspired Francois so much that he decided to continue his volunteering experience. In Kazan he is helping in the marketing department, protecting the brand image and preparing souvenirs among other tasks.

“The opportunity to travel and meet new people is what attracted me to volunteering,” Francois explained. “This is my first time in Russia and the more I learn about this country and its football team, the prouder I am to be part of the volunteer movement here. I like meeting new people and learning foreign languages. So far, I am fluent in French, English and Italian.”

The volunteers that took part in the preparations and hosting of the Official Draw in Kazan are confident that the experience they gained and skills they acquired will come in useful in six months' time at the Confederations Cup itself. This tournament will feature the best national teams from every continent and will be staged in Kazan, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi. From then, it is not long until the main dream for all current and future volunteers becomes a reality: the 2018 World Cup in Russia!

Until the end of 2016 there is still a possibility to apply to volunteer at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ via FIFA.com. There is only one requirement for applicants: volunteers at the Confederations Cup must have turned 18 by 10 May 2017, while the cut-off date for the World Cup is 10 May 2018. In total 5,500 volunteers will be involved in the FIFA Confederations Cup, while more than 15,000 will participate at Russia 2018 events.