The dream of taking part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ has just started for 300 volunteers who will work at the Preliminary Draw in Saint Petersburg.
The team who will support key operational areas ahead of and during the event on 25 July includes representatives of the 11 host cities, besides foreign nationals from Germany, Egypt, Colombia, China, Mexico, Poland, USA and France. More than 2,000 people from Russia and elsewhere vied for these roles.
“Volunteering is a chance we football fans have to feel a part of an event as huge as the World Cup," said volunteer Anastasia Povoroznyuk. "It's not just an opportunity to practise language skills and gain experience, but also make unforgettable memories that will long be prefixed with 'the best time of my life'. We volunteers will do everything to ensure the 2018 World Cup is the best in the history of the competition.”
Anastasia is among the volunteers who were introduced by Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) CEO Alexey Sorokin and St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Vladimir Kirillov on Thursday 16 July at St. Petersburg's Konstantin Palace. The group was already proudly wearing their vibrant uniforms and had their "Podorozhnik" transport cards, granting holders the right to two weeks' free transit on public transport.
“Our goal is for Russia to hold the kind of World Cup that will be remembered by all those participating and visiting as the best tournament in history,” noted Russia 2018 LOC CEO Alexey Sorokin. "The volunteers will not only be the face of the tournament and the whole of Russia, but also a uniting force. The fans and participants’ lasting impressions of our country and this wonderful event will come in no small way from their work and friendliness."
Among the operational areas that will count on the support of volunteers during the Preliminary Draw are Accreditation, Media and Transport.
“I am glad to see such an experienced team of volunteers in our city,” said St. Petersburg Deputy Governor Vladimir Kirillov. "I am sure that those taking part in and attending the Preliminary Draw will receive all necessary support, and that all activities involving the volunteers' participation will be carried out effectively and with a smile."
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Volunteers Programme
In September 2015, volunteer centres will open at higher education institutes across the 11 host cities in order to mobilise, select and train 2018 FIFA World Cup volunteers. The LOC is now holding an open contest for Russian universities for the right to set up a volunteer centre on their campus, and around 40 applications have been received. The result of the contest will be announced in August.
Events spanning the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 World Cup will call on the services of around 20,000 volunteers.
“For me, volunteering is more than just a hobby; it's something really exciting, and I'm really proud that I'll be part of the Preliminary Draw for the World Cup in Russia,” said volunteer Tobias Wandinger, from Germany, who has taken part in several other FIFA events. "This trip will be my second visit to Russia; I'm looking forward to working as part of a team, making new friends and taking a look around the wonderful city of St. Petersburg."
The Preliminary Draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying competitions will be held at Konstantin Palace on 25 July and, for five of world football’s six confederations, it will determine their route to the global showpiece.