"Volunteers are key to making the Games a success"
What is your role within Lausanne 2020, as head of volunteers?
Cédric Destraz (CD), Head of Volunteers at the Lausanne 2020 Organising Committee : My mission is clear: to look for the entire staff of volunteers who will be involved in ensuring that the competitions are held properly and that our clients are welcomed. To do so, it is essential to give due consideration to volunteers and create a positive atmosphere in their work environment. The team currently working on this project is committed to providing the best experience for volunteers and to ensure that they keep a wonderful memory of it long after the Games.
Today, about a hundred volunteers are already involved as leaders, translators, facilitators, mascot chaperons or in the medical field. It is important to give these people, who spontaneously volunteered, a chance to get involved in the actual event. They are already engaging with a lot of passion, we are very happy with their work so far.
How do you manage a team of volunteers?
CD : The key to success in volunteer management is, in my opinion, consideration. It is important to value their work and to support them continuously in their tasks. One of my main roles is to give them the right tools to accomplish their missions. It goes without saying that it is also important to thank them and to make them meet and share so that friendships can be created. It is also thanks to this that volunteer involvement becomes a success. The story becomes beautiful when these volunteers can acquire a certain autonomy in their activity and take responsibility through to their investment for the Youth Olympic Games. These are elements that can subsequently play a role in their professional activities.
Can you tell us more about the terms of engagement of volunteers?
CD : For the event itself, approximately 3,000 volunteers will be needed. The volunteer registration platform will officially open on June 23rd, 2019. The registration process is open to all. Access to this registration can be done directly via our website in the volunteer area. Volunteer work will be possible from the age of 16 as long as the person is a resident in Switzerland or France. A minimum age of 18 years will be required for volunteers from abroad. That being said, we are looking for people of all ages. We are also relying on older people, who may have more time to devote to the YOG. This intergenerational exchange element is always cited as one of the key success factors of volunteer programs. We will provide a full training program in the fall and pre-games events will be organized to shape the volunteer community. A full set of equipment will be provided to them so that they can be recognized during the Games.
Do you have a message to give to those who are interested in becoming a Lausanne 2020 volunteer?
CD : Of course. First of all, it isn't just any program. It is the Olympic Games, with a history that is more than a hundred years old. It is certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of this great movement which is strongly recognized as such all around the world. They are also Youth Olympic Games, i.e. Games of a new kind, created as a laboratory for the future. Being part of it means writing the future of the Olympic Games. Finally, I would say that it is a chance to show the world a different aspect of Switzerland, a young, innovative and ambitious country, in the heart of spectacular snow-covered Alpine landscapes. It is being part of something of which we can be proud, and which promotes positive values. We look forward to welcoming you to this wonderful adventure!
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