UNESCO European Athletics Young Leaders Community


Young Leaders Community 6-month evaluation: More than 40 hours per day donated to athletics

July 3, 2015

Time flies, and here we are already in July; a month of many important athletics events all over Europe, including the European Athletics U23 and Junior championships.  It is also the time for a half-year review of the evolution of the European Athletics Young Leaders Community in 2015.

As of the 30th of June, our YLC had registered at total of 66,781 volunteer hours for work on events, coaching, as part of a project team, etc. This total has been growing since 2011, with 7,427 of them being added this year alone. Think about it, in the last six months we have donated more than 40 hours per day, on average, to the sport! 

Speaking of projects, no less than 32 have been created so far this year.  That’s more than one new project per week.

In addition, there has been a considerable increase in visits and interactions on our Facebook page. We are up to 691 “likes”! 

The platforms provided by our website and Facebook page are giving the world an idea of how active and important we as a community are for helping deliver and develop athletics.

As you know, statistics are just numbers, sometimes up, sometimes down. But in this case, behind each number, there is a person; there is a young volunteer who dedicates his or her free time to sport. That fact adds value to the data I give below.

First, let’s look at our most active members. The first three are the same individuals as at the start of the year, but in sixth place we see that Great Britain’s Jacob Hood has registered a tremendous amount of hours. A total of 846 this year, with a litte help from back-dating, rocketing him up to 6th place in the all time table! He is the most active YLC volunteer so far this year.

I also have to mention Finland’s Miikka Neuvonen, who has joined the Top-10 list for the first time, pushing Barbara Hernando (ESP) down to 11th place.

Top 10 Volunteers (total hours)

1. Petter Wessel (NOR) 1,736

2. Jochen Schweitzer (GER) 1,636

3. Xicu Colomar (ESP) 1,251

4. Lijana Kaziow (GBR) 1,229

5. Rune Osa (NOR) 1,126

6. Jacob Hood (GBR) 900

7. Ingunn Gatland Jacobsen (NOR) 834

8. Michele Fortunato (ITA) 777

9. Joanna Dochevska (BUL) 745

9. Miikka Neuvonen (FIN) 626

Turning to the top countries, we see the first two are the same as at the start of the year, Spain and Norway, but now both have over 10,000 hours. The big mover is Great Britain & Northern Ireland, which has moved from 6th to 3rd by adding a fantastic 3,328 hours. The reason behind this is a concentrated effort by their Athletics Youth Advisory Group to get their members to join, register their hours and promote the YLC to others.

We also have to highlight Bulgaria and Denmark. with both moving into the Top 10 for the first time, nudging out Portugal and Turkey. In the case of Denmark, a lot of credit has to go to their recently created Danish Youth Board led by Mikkel Hansen.  Like in Britain, they are showing that a small and dedicated group of young leaders can contribute enormously. 

Top 10 Countries (total hours)

1. Spain, 13,831

2. Norway, 10,132

3. GB & NI 5,510

4. Slovenia 4,931

5. Serbia 4,270

6. Germany 4,018

7. Italy 2,141

8. Finland 2,115

9. Bulgaria 1,560

10. Denmark 1,543

For my last list, I have the Top 10 countries ranked by the number of members. Curiously, the listed countries stayed in the exact same order they were in on the 1st of January 2015, but, of course, all increased their membership.

Top 10 Countries (total number of members)

1. Spain 232

2. Norway 207

3. Serbia 158

4. Slovenia 137

5. GB. & NI 96

6. Germany 75

7. Switzerland 60

8. Sweden 59

9. Italy 58

10. France 47

To make an evaluation, I would say it has been a great start to 2015.  Thank you and well done to everyone!

But, I think we can do better :-).

My target is for us to get at least 15,000 hours in the rest of the year. That’s 2,500 hours per month.  It’s a big (crazy?) target, but I say we go for it. 

I am sure young people around Europe are already doing that much volunteering and more. We just need to get them in the YLC and registering their hours.

If you or someone you know has done work for athletics and not registered hours, what’s the problem?  Make sure you or they do it now, before you forget. If you want to do more to help me reach my goal, see my profile page and contact me so we can exchange ideas.

I have one more personal goal, which is to get to 1,000 Facebook likes by the end of the summer.

How can you help?  Just go to https://www.facebook.com/athletics community, like it and share with your friends.  I hope you will also leave a comment or two on what you see there. 


By Xicu Colomar - Young Leaders Community Coordinator



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