Volunteerism in Sports: Interview with Furkan Kalkan

Volunteerism is an integral part of sports and can be impactful in many different ways. Being a volunteer in sports not only supports games but also provides many benefits to the community. Volunteering in sports is often a way to contribute to the local community. Volunteering in various tasks such as ticketing, security, and cleaning on game days helps ensure the smooth progress of games and provides participants with an enjoyable experience. Additionally, participating as a volunteer in sports events provides the opportunity to establish new connections among people and expand social circles. It allows individuals to be in an environment where they share the same interests, strengthening the sense of community.

Volunteerism is a great opportunity for personal development. It offers the chance to learn skills such as taking responsibility, developing leadership skills, managing time, and enhancing communication abilities. Moreover, it can strengthen important social skills like coping with stress and empathy. Being a volunteer in sports events is also a way to be physically active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Engaging in physical activities such as walking around the stadium, carrying equipment, or organizing the field helps volunteers stay healthy.

Everyone, depending on their skills and interests, can volunteer in sports events and contribute to both themselves and others.

In continuation, an interview we did with one volunteer involved in the project “Go4SportVolunteering”, Mr Furkan Kalkan. 

Tell us about yourself and explain the concept of volunteering

My name is Furkan Kalkan. I am 24 years old and currently a third-year student in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at Istanbul Technical University. For me, volunteering in sports means socializing and working in a sports organization with different people to facilitate activities across the organization. Being a young sports volunteer has positively contributed to my life in many ways.

Share with us, your volunteering experiences and achievements.

During the Olympic pre-qualification games under the Turkish Basketball Federation, I served as a guide. My role involved assisting and guiding individuals from foreign countries. People could ask me questions on various topics and receive answers.

This experience taught me crisis management and how to handle complex situations. Helping others emotionally enriched my character. At times, I lacked sufficient knowledge to solve certain problems, but with the support of my teammates, I overcame them, enhancing my teamwork skills. Additionally, foreigners felt more at ease and could find quick solutions to their issues. After the event, I had the opportunity to share the benefits of volunteering with others and guide them. Being able to share and guide others socially contributed significantly to my personal development.

What were the common gains of your volunteering experiences and project outputs?

In the project called Go4sportsvolunteering, which focuses on sports volunteering, I learned a lot from the toolkit prepared. I gained insights into what sports volunteering entails, the rights of volunteers, what individuals interested in volunteering should do, and the approach clubs should take for volunteer recruitment. Participating with a volunteer mindset allowed me to better embrace my role and made me a more aware volunteer. Through this project, I acquired communication skills, presentation skills, and had the opportunity to learn about different cultures. We conducted various research on volunteering together and learned many things. Having the opportunity to use what I learned and teach others has been very rewarding for me. It has made me a more conscious and compassionate individual.

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