Volunteers at the centre of Russia’s 1,000 day countdown on 18 September
On Friday 18 September 2015, there will be exactly 1,000 days before the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ begins with the Opening Match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. To mark this significant milestone, over 45,000 people in 33 cities across Russia will take part in a whole host of events organised by the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) with support from the Volunteer Centres Association and the Russian Student Sports Clubs Association.
The main focus is on attracting volunteers for the tournament itself, a process will begin in the second quarter of next year, and those taking part in the celebrations in Moscow will also receive uniforms and beverages from FIFA Partners adidas and Coca-Cola respectively.
“For us, the community of volunteers plays an important role in promoting a positive image of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™,” said Alexey Sorokin, CEO of the Russia 2018 LOC. “In fact, volunteers will become the face of this global event. We are happy that the chance to take part in the Volunteer Programme has attracted such huge interest from across the country. And the 1,000 day countdown will clearly show that.”
“To date, Russia 2018 LOC volunteer centres have already been selected in all 11 Host Cities, but we are going to run the volunteer programme as a single team. Volunteer candidates will be able to apply to take part from the second quarter of 2016.”
In other events to mark the 1,000 day countdown, football matches and masterclasses will be taking place across the length and breadth of the country with schools and universities getting involved, while volunteers in Arkhangelsk and Tambov will be helping youngsters who have grown up in orphanages develop their footballing skills. In Vladivostok, Russian First Division side Luch Energiya will host a mini-football tournament with Russia's Minister of Sport and Chairman of the Russia 2018 LOC Vitaly Mutko eager to stress the physical benefits that playing football brings.
“It is important for us that sport and healthy lifestyles become increasingly popular among young people,” he said. “In terms of preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, we are building a multitude of sports venues across practically the entire European part of Russia. This is not just new stadiums, it is also training grounds and team bases. This will all lay the foundations for the rich legacy that the tournament will leave behind, and we are certain it will help improve the nation's health.”
Aside from the 11 Host Cities, 22 other cities across Russia will host events, namely: Vladivostok, Sevastopol, Tambov, Chelyabinsk, Arkhangelsk, Syktyvkar, Tver, Krasnodar, Stavropol, Yaroslavl, Petrozavodsk, Khabarovsk, Omsk, Tomsk, Yakutsk, Pyatigorsk, Khanty-Mansiysk, Surgut, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Nalchik and Saratov.