The IHF WWC brings people together from near and far

Photo: Danish Handball Association

This year’s IHF Women’s World Championship is held with help from volunteers who come from all around the world.

Some of the headlines for this year’s IHF Women’s World Championship are “aim to excite” and “aim to unite”. And to excite and unite is exactly what sport can.

It’s not only on the stands or when watching the match from home, that we are united and excited. There is also a special community outside the field of play in the arena, where dedicated volunteers are helping with the event.

Some of this year’s volunteers have been part of former championships, others are new. Some are locals, while others come from afar.

In the media centre in Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning 19 volunteers in total are working during the World Championship.

One of the volunteers that comes from afar is Jens Rettig, who is living in Oldenburg in Germany. Jens has also been a volunteer at the IHF Women’s World Championship in his hometown back in 2017.

– I’m a fan and spectator of women’s handball, and I have also been a volunteer at the IHF Women’s World Championship in my hometown, Oldenburg, in 2017. There I got to see what is going on outside of the field of play, and I really enjoyed being a volunteer. When the application for volunteering opened in Denmark, I applied and got chosen, says Jens and continues:

– I’m taking vacation from my work to be in Denmark during the championship, just like when I was a volunteer back home in 2017. I can do a bit of work on the distance, but it is vacation. And it is a fun vacation and I really enjoy it.

The biggest experience of my life

Yuka Fujii is also one of this year’s volunteers. She is 16 years old and from Japan. She is in Denmark as an exchange student in Ribe and was supposed to go to Herning to see the World Championship but ended up as a volunteer.

– I was supposed to participate as audience, but then found the volunteer site. I’ve never been a part of a big event like this, so I thought it would be a great experience. Also, my future dream is to work with sport management, so I thought it would be great to be part of this event, says Yuka.

And it really has been a big experience for Yuka. During the IHF Women’s World Championship she has helped translating at the international press conferences after Japan’s matches and she also got the chance to be on the field to hand over the award for player of the match on one occasion.

– It has been a big experience. The biggest of my life. I really enjoy being part of it and I’m so happy to get the chance to be translator for Japan at the press conferences and to also give the player of the match. Besides from that, I’ve met some really nice people, says Yuka.

Besides the new volunteers, the media centre in Herning has also gotten help from local volunteers as Trine Lajgaard, her husband, son, and daughter in law. Trine and her family have also been volunteering at championships in Jyske Bank Boxen in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2019. All of the years, Trine has been coordinating the schedules for the volunteers at the media centre.

– We were volunteers at the local handball club back in 2010, and the club was helping at the championship. And since then, we have been volunteering at the championships. We love sport and have been volunteers at local sports clubs since our children was small. And we are proud of Boxen and like to be part of events like these, says Trine and adds:

– When we are volunteers at sport events, we meet all the people, who have been part of former championships. It’s a special kind of unity and community, that we really enjoy being part of. And to do it as a family is just great.

In total, there are between 1000 and 1200 volunteers for the IHF Women’s World Championship solely in Denmark.

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