“It is a unique experience: being behind the scenes, watching the competitions just one meter away from the athletes. It feels like being one of them, it is an invaluable emotion”, these are the words used by Angela and Antonio to describe their first days as Universiade volunteers. They represent “Univolontà”, the gold of Naples. “We are to help with doping controls, we started last Sunday with surprise controls for the athletes on the cruise ships”, Angela continues, who proudly shows the many international pins received as a gift from athletes and delegates. “There are so many stories behind these pins: to get the koala pin, we had to chase a doctor from the Australian delegation. Yesterday, an athlete from Kazakhstan took her pin off and give it to us. It has become a real challenge, he has the American pin which is very difficult to obtain”, Angela says. However, according to Antonio the most important pin is the one with the Chinese flag, the showpiece of his collection: “I got it yesterday from Chengming Liu, double gold in diving. Yesterday I spent six hours with him and I felt a bit part of the competition too. I told him, “Look, I have to support the Italian team, but I cheer a little for you too,” he says with a smile.
Angela and Antonio are enthusiastic about their experience, just like the over 5.000 volunteers employed in the various functional areas of the Universiade. At the end of the event, each volunteer will receive the net sum of 25€ for each day of actual presence. The Organizing Committee specifies that the total amount will be calculated at the end of the days of actual work. Each volunteer can choose to be paid by bank transfer or at any Intesa San Paolo Group bank counter throughout the national territory.