UNIMA FLIES STUDENT TO 2018 WORLD CUP IN RUSSIA
13 June, 2018
UNIMA FLIES MWAYI KATEKA TO 2018 WORLD CUP UNDER INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY SPORTS FORUM IN RUSSIA
As the world is anxiously waiting for the kick off of the 2018 World Cup games on Thursday 14th June 2018 in Russia, University of Malawi (UNIMA), through its sports arm, has sent Ms Maya Kateka, 22 and a third year student at University of Malawi’s Chancellor College in Zomba, to be part of this year’s prestigious occasion, the 2018 World Cup.
Ms Kateka, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities left on 12th June 2018 through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe for Kazan where she will join other more than 100 student-volunteers from different universities under the 2018 International University Sports Federation (FISU) Forum at the Volunteers Leaders Academy.
FISU is responsible for the organisation and governance of worldwide sports competitions for student-athletes between the ages of 17 and 28 and stages its events every two years.
In addition, volunteers with wide-ranging work experience also contribute to the success of sports events like the World Cup by providing much needed legal or accounting advice, marketing assistance and hospitality and catering management services and give their knowledge, skills and experience which is a great source of economic value in support of the event.
This means Ms Kateka will be part of student-volunteers serving different delegates at the 2018 World Cup
Escorted to the airport by her dad and two younger sisters (both students in Unima), Ms Kateka expressed gratitude to the UNIMA leadership for trusting her with this rare opportunity to represent the University.
“I promise the University good representation. In fact, one of my goals is to go there and leave a mark that there was once a Malawian girl. Through my conduct I want to open doors for others so that they too can have an opportunity to go there and represent Malawi based on the impression I will leave.
“To be honest, it means a lot to me. It’s something that’s so big. Its FISU. FISU is something that’s under FIFA. So that’s how big it is. It is a great achievement, not only to me but even to people that will come after me. It is an achievement to the University since I am the first UNIMA student to attend such a gallant event. It is a great deal to me, a big moment of inspiration.
“It’s not something that you experience and forget but it lasts forever in you”, Ms Kateka expressed herself, sounding jovial at all times.
The main goals of the event are to create opportunities for studying and sharing best practices related to volunteer projects and programs for major international events, as well as securing an effective communication platform for the development of student volunteer communities.
FISU like all other major international sports organisers rely heavily on volunteer labour and believe that volunteers are integral to the staging of major and local sport events. Volunteers, according to FISU Volunteers Academy 2018, offer event organisers a wide knowledge base and a range of skills to assist with tasks such as running competitions, liaising with visiting teams, working with media and security organisations and providing services for athletes, sponsors, spectators and other organisations associated with the sport event.
When FISU confirmed Ms Maya Kateka’s trip a few months ago, she could not hide her excitement after the good news had come in. In an interview Maya said she was enthused with the news of her confirmation to fly to Russia on 12th June 2018 as a first Malawian and student from University of Malawi to be part of this auspicious-red carpet event.
“It means a lot and am very enthusiastic about getting things done and basing on my experience here in Malawi, I have engaged in a couple of volunteering. The fact that I am an UMSU (University of Malawi Student Union) representative, I get to organize different activities like the UMSU Festival and the like. So I will be able to share that skill among people I have never even imagined to meet in my life, the visibly jovial Maya said.
“It is something that I am very excited about but not only that but also that I will be able to showcase what I am capable of doing in a foreign country. It is actually an opportunity to prove to world that there are actually people in Malawi that can do certain things as good as any other person from any part of the world.
“I really can’t wait to put my country on the map. I want to leave a mark, people should say at the end of the day that there was a young woman from Malawi that just amazed everybody. I will make sure I create a very positive first impression because I am the first Malawian Unima student to go to Kazan, Russia,” she explained.
In 2017 more than 100 volunteers from 91 countries gathered at the FISU Volunteers Leaders Academy where President of FISU Oleg Matytsin praised the role of volunteers in sports and hoped that everyone who attended would benefit from the rare experience.
“I am confident that participants here will feel this atmosphere and take a real vision of this back to their countries,” President Matytsin said.
“Many of these volunteers will also help us in organizing FIFA World Cup in 2018 as well as the WorldSkills competition in 2019. Without such enterprising and creative young people, it is probably impossible to hold major international events.
“But in order to organise volunteer activities we need some educational programs. In my opinion, sport volunteering in Russia was born in Kazan and we are so happy that the first FISU Volunteers Leaders Acedemy are here in Kazan,” the President explained
The FISU Volunteer Leaders Academy-2018 international forum will take place in Kazan, hosted by the Volga State Academy of Sport and Tourism until June 14-22.
FISU was founded in 1949 as the world governing body of national university sports organisations and currently has 174 member associations (National University Sport Federations) from five continents. It is the only international federation with more than 50 sports on its competition program.
Meanwhile, FISU permanently links the academic world with sports by hosting a number of educational events – conferences, forums and seminars. These events closely assist in promoting sport as one of the main components of the educational system.