With the countdown to the event ticking away and only three days remaining, Rotterdam Ahoy played host to the crucial Volunteer Meeting today. This marked a significant point in the preparations for the EPC2023, gathering more than 250 volunteers, who will play an integral role in the smooth running of the event.
The meeting was graced by the influential presence of EPC2023’s Founder, Eric Kersten, and Tournament Director, Jeroen Straathof. Additionally, Joshua Donker, a prominent figure in the Dutch Para Badminton world, was also present. Their inspiring speeches were designed to boost the morale and dedication of the volunteers and provide them with a deeper understanding of the event.
As the meeting began, the Volunteer Coordinator Marleen Aerts initiated the proceedings with a warm welcoming introduction. She underscored the significance and appreciation for every single volunteer in contributing to the EPC2023. She stressed that their contributions are not only appreciated but indispensable for the success of the event. The message was unequivocal: everyone at EPC2023 is immensely grateful to all volunteers who have taken time out of their lives to help this event become the best version of itself.
The European Para Championships, like any other large-scale event, heavily rely on the tireless work of volunteers. Acknowledging this, the meeting sought to fully immerse the volunteers in the experience. As a part of this, a tour through the Rotterdam Ahoy venue was organized. But this was not a regular tour; it was designed with a unique twist to help volunteers better understand the challenges faced by those who might require assistance at the event.
A specific group of volunteers were given blinding shades or were put in wheelchairs, simulating vision or physical impairment. This allowed them to navigate the venue from a completely different perspective, experiencing firsthand the challenges faced by individuals with such impairments. Such an immersive experience aims to ensure that volunteers can offer the most appropriate assistance to any attendee requesting help, thereby making the event a more inclusive and accessible experience for everyone.
The meeting was a powerful reminder of the spirit of solidarity and the shared objective to make EPC2023 a resounding success. As the volunteers embark on this journey, equipped with empathy and a better understanding, the stage is now set for an inclusive, accessible, and unforgettable event. We can’t wait to welcome you in Rotterdam Ahoy and everywhere throughout the city!