An incredibly motivated group of over 16,000 volunteers, joined by thousands who followed online from around the world, gathered at the Lusail Stadium for the official orientation event – a festive ceremony featuring football legends and 2022 FIFA World Cup top brass.
The largest of the host venues for the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ served as a fitting backdrop for this important milestone gathering, which marked the first time that all selected volunteers were assembled together for the formal start of their training journey and a momentous opportunity to reflect on the road ahead.
Eng. Yasir Al Jamal, Director General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) opened the event, welcoming the assembled volunteers to Lusail Stadium and thanking them for their significant contribution to the incredible fan experience ahead, and overall success of the FIFA World Cup™.
The event-filled evening was aimed at building a greater sense of community and helping everyone become more familiar with their respective activities across 45 different functional roles by giving them a glimpse of the challenges and the rewards in store.
FIFA’s Chief Operating Officer – World Cup and Managing Director for Q22, Colin Smith, struck a note of gratitude and inclusivity: “Volunteers are our true heartbeat because their passion and selfless devotion sustain everything we do. That’s the common thread that unites 20,000 volunteers, irrespective of nationality, culture, age, gender and experience. It’s through their efforts that the FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar can be considered the most inclusive ever and will connect people from all cultures and backgrounds through the game of football.”
The event’s upbeat atmosphere was led by celebrity hosts Abood Afro and Anshou Jain, mixing dance performances and video highlight reels with messages of encouragement from English football superstar David Beckham and Australia’s top FIFA World Cup™ scorer, former Aussie national Tim Cahill.
CEO of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ LLC, Nasser Al Khater, appeared on stage with Smith to answer questions about the significance and wider impact of such a massive volunteer campaign:
“We hope first that each volunteer will have gained valuable skills, experiences and friendships that will enrich their lives and just make them better, happier, more confident people, regardless of their continued path. This is a fine legacy for any nation. “From the macro-view, I’m confident that societies will start to embrace a wider culture of volunteerism as an expression of both national pride and self-betterment, as it’s something which also aligns with our traditional values of honour and generosity.”