The European Para Championships (EPC) is a multisport event. It will be staged every four years and will always be hosted by a major European city in the year preceding the Paralympic Games. Behind the scenes of this fantastic event, volunteers play a vital role in bringing the European Para Championships to fruition. This article interviews Marie-Louise Boissevain, a passionate volunteer at the European Para Championships.
For Marie-Louise, the main motivation for becoming a volunteer at the European Para Championships is to ensure that athletes are able to deliver their performances. “There is still a lot of room for growth in increasing attention to Para sports. I believe it is essential that Para athletes receive the same opportunities and support as other athletes so that they can perform at the highest level possible. I am proud to do my part and I believe that everyone, regardless of their level, should have the opportunity to play sports.”
The experience as a volunteer
“I helped at the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 last year, where I served as liaison officer for the French friends & family. This experience had a very positive impact on me and inspired me to volunteer for the European Para Championships,” Marie-Louise said.
The conversation continues about why Marie-Louise would recommend volunteering to others. “For me, it is in my nature to contribute to my community and help others achieve sports achievements. Whether I’m guiding athletes, assisting behind the scenes or welcoming visitors, it doesn’t matter to me. Most importantly, I help others improve themselves, and I believe this has a positive impact on the world.”
Marie-Louise shares an inspiring story about her experience with the Para field hockey team. She was present during a training session where a player was nervous about playing in front of a larger audience. The national coach emphasized that the audience was there to enjoy her game and to grant her success. This is something Marie-Louise herself also experiences as a volunteer during tournaments. “I wish the athletes the best and think this is a wonderful aspect of volunteering,” she said.
Passion for Para sports
Marie-Louise has a huge passion for Para sports and when we asked her about what she loves most about Para sports, she emphasized that she enjoys it most when athletes reach their full potential and enjoy playing their sport. “I am also impressed when an athlete shows more than they thought they could. The same is when an athlete rises above their level and leaves others around them amazed. The fun, the personal development of the athletes and exceeding their own limits are wonderful aspects of the Para sports.”
Expectations of the European Para Championships
Finally, we asked Marie-Louise what she is most looking forward to during the European Para Championships. “I hope to see some exciting Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Basketball matches, but the most important thing I think is that the atmosphere is good and that I see the athletes enjoying their sport with passion. It would be really great if they see all their hard work rewarded and achieve their goals.”
We are looking for volunteers to help us organise the greatest event possible! Click here to go straight to volunteer sign-up. Thanks in advance and we’d love to see you in August!