The First European Volunteer SUMMIT at HUSS

The Hungarian University of Sports Science (HUSS) hosted the First European Volunteer Summit on 13 December 2023.

Representatives of sports organisations from 23 countries participated in the one-day programme which was opened by HUSS's Rector Prof Tamás Sterbenz. The rector welcomed the participants of the First European Sports Volunteer Summit and the V4V project partnership. He expressed his special welcome to Kirstie Simpson, Chair of the European Observatory for Sport and Employment (EOSE), Aurelin Favre, Executive Director, and Greg Carroll, Principal Investigator, and Greg Woods, Head of Education and Development, Wolrd Rugby, the Summit Moderator.

"We were delighted to host and organise the First European Sports Volunteering Skills Summit as the final event of the project, and to host, together with EOSE, participants from 23 countries," said Rector Tamás Sterbenz.

In the very rich programme of the Summit, Floor van Houdt, Head of the European Commission's Sport Unit, spoke about the importance of volunteering in European sport policy, followed by a presentation and discussion of the results of the V4V project. The results of the research carried out in three phases and in 12 European countries to develop the two digital tools for the recruitment, retention and management of volunteers were presented. These online, competency-based self-assessment tools allow sports organisations to identify and demonstrate their performance in hosting volunteers and for volunteers to visualise the skills and competencies they have acquired during their volunteering activities.

Summit participants had the opportunity to discuss the topic and the online toolkit in small groups, followed by a round-table discussion to hear about practical experiences of managing volunteers. The online tools will be available in their final form in the first half of 2024.

Dr Szilvia Perényi, Associate Professor of the Department of Sport Management at HUSS, the technical leader of the V4V project, emphasized that the tools provide an excellent opportunity for the contribution of volunteers in the operation of sports organizations and the organization of sporting events to receive more attention and recognition.

Over the last fifteen years, starting in 2009, our university has worked with EOSE and its partners on 5 Erasmus+ Sport projects. The V4V project has also been implemented through Erasmus+ grant funding, led by the European Observatory on Sport and Employment (EOSE), with 15 European and global sport organisations, including HUSS over the last three years. Dr Szilvia Perényi and Dr Judit Farkas from our university participated in the project.

The V4V project partners are:

  • European Observatory on Sport and Employment (EOSE) - France/ EU
  • World Rugby - Ireland / global
  • International Judo Federation Academic Foundation (IJF) - Malta / Global
  • Romanian Football Federation (FRF) - Romania
  • Finnish Athletics Federation (SUL) - Finland
  • International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) - Denmark / Global
  • European Volunteer Centre (CEV) - Belgium / EU
  • Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA) - UK
  • Portuguese Institute for Sport and Youth (IDPJ) - Portugal
  • Estonian Sports Education and Information Foundation (FSEI) - Estonia
  • National Institute for Sport Research (NISR) - Romania
  • Leeds Beckett University (LBU) - United Kingdom
  • Hungarian University of Sports Science (HUSS) - Hungary
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