How to Create a Network of Volunteers in an NOA

By Anita Sterea

The Romanian Olympic Academy (ROA) has a unique structure that has always attracted the attention of specialists in Olympic education. Founded in 1991, the Romanian Olympic Academy is organised in branches, more precisely 48 branches – one branch per county and one for each sector of Bucharest. Each branch has a director and secretary, as well as members without a position, and the branches can organise events with the Olympic theme at the local level, but also get involved in the organisation of national projects by promoting them at the local level.

In order to better understand how the ROA works, Simona Tabara Amanar, ROA director and Anita Sterea, member of the ROA board, organised within the EOA Congress in Vilnius a workshop on “How to Create a Network of Volunteers in an NOA”.

During this workshop, the organisation and financing of the ROA were presented. The ROA, which operates under the Romanian Olympic Committee, has an administrative structure with 11 board members and a director, all of whom work on a voluntary basis. In the 48 branches there are more than 100 Olympic clubs organised at school level. The Olympic educational programmes that take place every year at local and national level include the “Olympic Games in Children’s Imagination”, a plastic arts contest that has been organised for over 25 years, and a literature and sports journalism contest. Both competitions are organised for students from 6 to 18 years old.

It was particularly interesting for the workshop participants to talk about the impressive network of volunteers and how former athletes or Olympic champions can be mobilised to get involved in the Olympic Academies’ projects. Together with the workshop leaders, the benefits of and for volunteers in sport were discussed. Anita Sterea explained: “Sport and sporting achievements have a positive impact on Romanian society, so the AOR volunteers are first of all proud of the position they occupy. At the same time, they have a freedom to organise their own Olympic education activities at the local level, which give them a high degree of professional satisfaction.” Simona Tabara Amanar, AOR Director and Olympic champion added: “as Romanian Olympic champions, we have a very close relationship with the AOR. We want to be in the middle of the community and get involved in Olympic education projects.”

In the following team work, the participants were divided into two groups – to discuss the benefits but also the challenges that can arise when working with volunteers. The final conclusion was that, despite some clear challenges, it is sustainable and necessary to involve as many volunteers as possible in the NOA network.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *