Volunteering for the Sports Festival
Updated: Sep 24, 2019
When my coordinator asked me if I wanted to volunteer for a Sports Festival in Cluj-Napoca, the first question that popped into my head was “what is a Sports Festival?” Well, the purpose of the festival is to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, but now that I have been there and experienced it I can answer this question with more details. Imagine a typical music festival, full of green spaces with colorful poufs spread around, the street food, and of course the bar somewhere near the stage, but with a much smaller stage and not such loud music. Now imagine that instead of a band on stage, you have dance instructors with a microphone inviting the audience to join their workout making the participants following their steps. And this is just a small part of the festival.
There were all kinds of sport activities all around the arenas and also in the garden next to Cluj Arena. From 13th to 16th of June (Thursday to Sunday), from morning until evening, there were always activities going on, for professionals and amateurs, anyone who wanted to participate either to practice what they already know and test their physical shape, either to try something new as the choices were many.
I was amazed not only by the quantity of sports that were present, over 30 sports were represented in this festival, but also by its diversity: from basketball, beach volleyball and handball to Yoga and Pilates, fitness, Zumba, to horse riding, skate, karate, darts, golf, kayak and even oina, the Romanian traditional sport (similar to baseball), among many other sports, as the program was very wide. Besides all the sport activities, the music and the concerts, there was also a major event happening on Saturday, the tennis match that counted with the participation of the well known tennis player Simona Halep, filling the BT Arena with 9000 people. And that is a lot of people, at least in the eyes of a volunteer.
It was kind of adventurous to work in this festival, and challenging because I was the only foreigner volunteer, and as I don’t speak Romanian yet, it was sometimes difficult to communicate with the participants, but at the same time, a great Romanian lesson, as I learnt so many new words in four days. As a volunteer in this kind of festival you feel compelled to participate in the activities as well with the other participants and try out everything. I personally think this was a great initiative to encourage people to practice more sports, it definitely pushed me, I forgot how great exercise, more specifically dance, makes me feel, I hoped it helped other people to discover or rediscover the sport of their dreams too, as it is good for the body, mind and soul. It was also interesting to communicate with the instructors and the professionals, got to know more information about the sports represented, it was like being an insider and an attentive observer. I’m glad I was part of the event, it was my first sport festival participation ever and I can’t wait to do it again!