The final conference of the EYVOL project, under the theme “Innovative Tools for Transversal Skills Acquisition through Sport Volunteerism”, took place on 29 October 2021, at the Seville FC Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán Stadium in Sevilla, Spain.

The conference was organized within the framework of ‘Empowering Youth Volunteers through Sport’ (EYVOL) project. Inspired by Save the Dream, EYVOL, is a two-year transnational and multi-sectoral initiative coordinated by the International Olympic Truce Center (IOTC) and co-funded by the European Union within the Erasmus+ programme, involving partners from the Olympic movement, the United Nations, academia and civil society.

Representatives from organizations such as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Sport Unit of the EU Commission, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, UEFA EURO 2020, AGERSPORT, alongside several other National Olympic Committees (NOCs), NGOs and associations, took part in the hybrid conference as panelists and shared information on best practices, policies, and plans on recruitment, training, and deployment of sport volunteers, in view of promoting future employability and career prospects.

During the conference, all partners presented the final project outputs, such as the guide on “Good Practices on Volunteering for Social Inclusion through Sport”, the tailor-made educational programme “Discovering and Enhancing Transversal Skills for and through Sport Volunteerism”, a self-assessment tool: WebApp “Assess YOUR Skills”, as well as policy recommendations.

Representatives of all project partners and senior officias who were in attendance, commented on the importance and impact of the EYVOL project in their remarks.

Dr. Constantinos Filis, Director, International Truce Centre, said: “Nowadays, greater emphasis is placed on educating youth, so that sport volunteerism, along with respect for fundamental rights can take root and flourish. EYVOL Project has given us the chance to exchange and communicate our views and ideas while focusing on the importance of developing a nurturing environment for the volunteers.”

Massimiliano Montanari, Executive Director Save the Dream, said: “Volunteers are the engine of sport. By donating their time, passion, and talents, they ensure the sustainability of sporting competitions and projects at all levels, from grassroots to Olympics. Today we have completed a project which developed useful tools to support of their work and paves the way for future actions in acknowledgement of their essential role.”

Marisa Fernandez-Esteban, Deputy Head of Sport Unit, European Commission, said: “The European Commission believes in the power of volunteering. Thanks to the Erasmus+ the EYVOL became a reality. We need all organisations to help promote the benefits of a healthy life style and sport for all and across generations. For this reason the European Commission launched the HealthyLifeStyle4All inviting all organisations to join this campaign and submit a pledge to promote a healthy life style for everyone.”

Giovanni di Cola, Special Advisor, International Labour Organisation, said: “Providing volunteers with set of skills for sustainable jobs is of paramount importance and it is the interest of everyone. In fact, It is an essential contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Nasser Al-Mogaiseeb, Volunteer Strategy Manager, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, said: “Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills, serve your community, and meet new people.  Our volunteer activation programme for the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be the largest in the history of Qatar. Volunteers are such important partners for us to ensure the success of the games and we could not do it without their positivity, hard work and dedication.”

EYVOL was jointly implemented with the Comité Olímpico de Portugal (COP), Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI), International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE), European Platform for Sports and Innovation (EPSI), European Non-Governmental Sports Organization – ENGSO Youth, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne,  Universitat de les Illes Balears, Fundación del Centenario del Sevilla FC, Orama Neon – Youthorama, and garagErasmus Foundation. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the Association of IOC Recognized International Sports Federations (ARISF) were the official supporters of the initiative, which envisaged  participation of Roma Cares Foundation and Al Sharq Forum.