Different stories, one passion

17th Jul 2017

FEI Release

They come from different countries, they are in different age, and they have different experience and ideas for life. But they all have something in common - a passion for equestrian and a willingness to help. More than 100 volunteers will be involved in organizing European Championships in Eventing in Strzegom.

Polly Ann and Rosemary

Among the volunteers there are a lot of seniors with impressive careers who are willing to share their knowledge and experience generously. Why? - Wonderful people, great team so why not? - replies Polly Ann Huntington from Australia. PollyAnn is a judge, technical delegate, dressage rider and trainer. Such a vast equestrian experience allows her to fulfill a number of official roles at the events all over the world. Polly Ann owns the horse stud in Western Australia, where she breeds dressage horses. Her charity work is not limited only to equestrian. Polly Ann is also a volunteer of State Emergency Service, an Australian organization helping during natural disasters, as well as a volunteer of Bush Fire Brigade. In Strzegom Polly Ann is going to be in charge if the stewards’ team helping visitors.

A similar point of view is presented by Rosemary Barlow from Great Britain- When Marcin Konarski [event director- Ed.] has asked me to help with organizing the event, I couldn’t say no. Rosemary will be in charge of the International Supporters Pavilion. Her experience is truly impressive. She ran ISP for the first time in 1984 in Los Angeles during Olympic Games. Since that time she organizes the Pavilion at every Championships and Olympic Games, excluding Rio only. Strzegom will be the last Championships event before her retirement. Rosemary together with Andrew Nicholson is a proud owner of well-known eventing horses Avebury, Burghley winner three years in succession and Barbury International four times and the leading mare Qwanza at Badminton this year.

Aleksandra and Ulrika

Volunteering is a great adventure and fun for some people and a remarkable point in CV or a chance to get new skills for others. It definitely brings satisfaction from the fact of being the part of something significant. Aleksandra Kasperek from Opole in Poland will work in Press Centre as a translator. She has decided to be a volunteer to- as she says- help in building such an important event, get an experience in organizing a big project and feel equestrian and sports spirit.

Ulrika Andersson, who comes from Sweden, will support Strzegom’s organizers for the third time. - Being a volunteer gives you the opportunity to gain new friends, work with people of all ages from all over the globe with the same passion for eventing. It´s truly rewarding and a lifelong experience. If open-minded, you learn lots of new things. In everyday life Ulrika is a hotelier, at the Championships she will be Social Media Manager.

Agata Piniewska - Volunteers Program Coordinator admits: Volunteering is not only about the work that needs to be done. It is also a chance to take part in creating the atmosphere of the event and having an impact on how the event goes on. It’s amazing how many wonderful people you can meet and even start lifelong friendships. Volunteering means people but also atmosphere, satisfaction and confidence that if we act together nothing is impossible.

During European Championships in Eventing in Strzegom over 100 people from eight countries (Germany, Holland, Russia, Poland, Italy, Sweden and Australia) will be involved. The biggest number will come from Great Britain. The oldest volunteer will be 72 years old, the youngest, who will be supervised by parents, will be 13. Volunteers will help to prepare and run the competition, assist media, visitors and riders. They will be stewards, scribes and assisting fence judges. You will meet them in Accreditation Centre, Event Office, Media Centre, Info Centre, at the stables area, dressage, and jumping arena.