Something special for volunteers at IAAF Worlds
The Volunteers Entertainment Tent will act as a central command centre as well as a place to unwind from the hectic schedules.
With the flick of a wrist, the tiny plastic thread, attached to the bottom of a big net carrying thousands of colourful balloons, went taut.
In a moment, the balloons rained down, transforming the mostly white-themed stage into all colours of a rainbow. It was the highlight at the opening ceremony of the Volunteers Entertainment Tent for the 2019 IAAF World Championships.
Earlier, Dahlan Al Hamad, Vice Chairman and Director General of the Organising Committee of Doha 2019, had cut a ribbon to launch the facility formally.
“Volunteerism is one of the most important aspects of any major sports event. We launched our volunteers’ programme in advance, and it received a huge response. While we wanted only around 2,500 volunteers, more than double that number applied,” he told Inside Qatar.
“It just shows that we, as organisers, and the volunteers, are ready to host the best-ever IAAF Worlds. Our volunteers have been undergoing intensive training for several months now, and I’m confident they’ll make us proud,” he added.
The Volunteers Entertainment Tent will act as their main working area. Kaltham Al Rumaihi, Deputy Director of Corporate Support for Doha 2019, explained, “Although all action will take place at the Khalifa International Stadium, volunteers won’t have a dedicated centre there. They’ll be based out of this tent. They’ll come here, go to different work destinations, and return here before leaving for home,” she said.
But the tent is not just all about work. There are plenty of avenues for entertainment as well.
“Since competitions are on only in the evenings, volunteers will mostly have the rest of their days free. If they so wish, they can come to the tent with other volunteers and unwind. It’s our way of thanking them for their services. We’re also thinking of organising various competitions and cultural days for them,” she said.
In addition to food courts, volunteers will have sports activities including football, beach volleyball, table tennis, baby-foot, badminton, a 100M track as well as a high jump apparatus.
There are also areas for them to play video games, do physical workouts or take a nap on bean bags.
Several volunteers spoke about their excitement at being a part of the mega event.
“I’d been a part of the ’15 IHF World Handball Championships, and I’m thrilled to be associated with an even bigger event. I can’t wait for it to begin,” said Jordan Carido from the Philippines, who will work in the transportation department.
With the IAAF World Championships almost upon us, the opening of the Volunteers Entertainment Tent is sure to take the excitement one notch higher.