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The 5th of December every year marks the International Volunteer Day.

DOHA: Rasha Al-Qarni,  Workforce and  Volunteer Director in the Local Organizing Committee of the AFC Champions League, East Zone event, has said volunteers have played a fundamental role in various operations during the course of the tournament.

“We are very pleased to have the opportunity to learn from our previous experiences and contribute in organizing tournaments like AFC Champions League East Zone. Our aim remains to continuously improving our performance level,” Al Qarni said.

“Our volunteers have become well aware of their work tasks and that enables us to plan effectively for daily tasks and to provide the necessary support to teams in various fields,” Al Qarni said in a special interview to the website of the Qatar Football Association, in which she shed light on many points and matters related to volunteering and volunteers, as follows:

The 5th of December every year marks the International Volunteer Day. How do you see it and what does it represent for volunteers?

A: International Volunteer Day is giving back to the volunteers in recognition of their great efforts in the success of different events in which they participate. On this occasion we have hosted a big event at the Khalifa International Stadium on the sidelines of the AFC Champions League matches, East Zone matches. We aim to use this great occasion to thank all volunteers and to celebrate their efforts in providing support to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in organizing sporting events since 2018. This event represents a great opportunity to involve volunteers from the local community, the region and fuel their enthusiasm in anticipation of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Please talk to us about the volunteers and their role in the tournament? 

For the AFC Champions league 2020 (West & East) we have 160 volunteers supporting the event’s delivery at four stadiums. Volunteers are assigned to 5 functional areas – Media Operations, Workforce, Accreditation, Security and Health & Safety.

We have a very diverse group of volunteers of different nationalities and age groups. We are also happy to have Qataris and females supporting the volunteer programme.

What services are provided by you?

We provide training before the tournament, as it is an essential part of the volunteer’s journey. Each volunteer needs to attend General training (online format due to COVID-19), Venue training at the stadium dedicated to the operations and Role-specific training dedicated to Function specifics.

What is the reaction of teams to volunteer services?

We have received positive feedback about volunteer support from all functional managers. Volunteers have played a critical role and have done a fantastic job of delivering the event.

Have you benefited from your participation in the previous AFC Champions League, East West Zone? 

We are happy to be able to learn from previous events and improve the level of deliverables.

Volunteers are familiar with the stadiums; all these small details enable us to plan the daily tasks and support client groups.

Can you say that your work becomes professional by experience?

Indeed, with every tournament, we plan and deliver we learn a great deal and helps us immensely as we prepare to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

How do you see the culture of volunteering in Qatar?

The Volunteer culture is “young” in Qatar; nevertheless, we have many volunteers who would like to take part and support the country, give back to the community, and be part of Qatar’s volunteer movement.

Volunteer National Strategy was developed by SC and Q22 and focuses on the several topics, such as Legislation of Volunteering in Qatar, establishing the National Volunteer day, and encourage more people to volunteer and deliver the best volunteer experience for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Does the volunteers’ role end with the FWC2022 tournament or will they continue to communicate with them and use them in other sports events?

The role of volunteering opportunities will continue beyond FWC2022. Our goal is to create an engagement programme for all volunteers across Qatar, as we want everyone to be motivated and feel that they are part of this movement.

We are delighted to see that so many of our volunteers continue to return and support our events.

On the 5th December – International Volunteer Day 2020 – we are hosting an event at Education City Stadium where we want to take this opportunity to thank and celebrate all volunteers who have supported the SC events since 2018.

This event is vital to the SC as we want to recognize all our volunteers’ efforts who have supported all SC events over the last two years. Many have given their time to play critical roles in running tournament, launch stadiums and host events in Qatar and around the world.

The event provides a chance to involve the local, regional and international volunteers in Qatar’s culture and excitement around the FIFA World Cup 2022™. The engagement of this community as volunteers and spectators within the International Volunteer Day 2020 Event celebrations encourages a sense of ownership and responsibility for Qatar’s growing role as a global leader in football.

There is no doubt that volunteering has reduced many different needs through the speed of presence in sports events, what is your assessment of that?

Volunteers are playing a pivotal role in the events and creating an atmosphere and friendly environment. Volunteers are very experienced and very important for the operations as well as play a key role as ambassadors to the event.

Are you ready to participate in major events, especially as we are nearing the World Club Championship and the 2022 World Cup?

We are looking forward to hosting these events, and we expect this to be an excellent experience for our volunteers and us alike.

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