Pupils help at WUBC as ball kids

"Volunteers are the backbone of the WUBC”

The secret heroes of the World University Beach Volleyball Championship (WUBC) are the volunteers. A total of 102 volunteers and around 300 ball kids are working on-site.

The USA vs. Japan women’s match is currently taking place on center court. The sun is shining, the basses are roaring from the loudspeakers. In line with the music, the DJ encourages the cheerful fans to make some noise for the teams. Asami Shiba and Satono Ishitsubo from Japan meet Claire Coppola and Kristen Nuss from the USA. The Americans win the first set 21:15.

Kevin Galkow's hour comes during the break. The 14-year-old grabs a rake. "During the breaks, I always clear the lines of sand and make sure that the course does not become too uneven," explains Galkow. The student and his class are volunteering throughout the entire WUBC event. This includes, for example, working on the courts as linesmen or as ball kids, at the food counter, at the information stand. They also accompany the delegations and have helped to set everything up on-site.

"By students, for students" - that is the slogan of the WUBC. "We divided up the volunteers according to their experience and skills for a great range of tasks," reports Franziska McKay, the event manager. "The volunteers are the backbone of the World University Championship."

With the beginning of the second set, the ball kids are back in action. The ten-year-old Collins Iedukapye and the eleven-year-old Zaka Elkajioui grab a ball and occupy their position next to the field. "There are precise instructions on how the ball kids should behave. For example, we should only hold one ball in our hand and not throw the balls across the court," says Elkajioui. Although this is their first day at the WUBC, they do their job with bravado, commitment and a lot of joy.

On center court, the Japanese keep the tension high in the second set against the USA – also thanks to the loud support of the Japanese men's team and the coaches. The LED screen shows 10:11. Ricardo Zanaboni is standing in the catering tent at this point. He and the other kitchen volunteers take care of the catering. Whether fruit, yoghurt, fitness bars, water or tea - Zanaboni has everything under control. "Of course, it's a lot of work. But being part of the event is fun and I like the relaxed atmosphere," says the 16-year-old boy.

"The performance of the volunteers is overwhelming. It's great how motivated they all are to get things done," says McKay, beaming.

The USA vs. Japan match on center court is coming to an end. The Americans can still reverse the deficit they faced in between. They also win the second set 20:15 and enter the third round. But not only the players are in a good mood and satisfied with their performance: The volunteers can also be proud of themselves. They impress everyone with their friendly manner, their helpfulness and hospitality, and thereby make a vital contribution to the success of the WUBC.

Here you can find the pictures of the day.