The oldest volunteer tells about herself

The oldest volunteer tells about herself

Volunteer of the ICF Canoe sprint World Cup II Natalia Kosareva: I like to be in demand

International competition always gets together outstanding people. One of the most vivid persons on the ICF Canoe sprint World Cup in Barnaul is Natalia Kosareva from Saint-Petersburg. As an English language expert, she works in the press-center. This year she will celebrate 75 years old, but she does not feel her years and does not want to be marked for the age. Natalia came to Barnaul for several days breaking away from her volunteer work on the European Football championship EURO2020 in Saint-Petersburg.

  • Natalia, this is not your first time at major sport event, isn’t it?

My volunteer life started in 2013 at the Universiade in Kazan. After that there were Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games 2014 in Sochi, Summer Olympic Games 2016 in Rio, The World Ice Hockey championship in 2016 and The World FIFA 2018 in my hometown.

  • How did you decide to be a volunteer at your age?

I am always eager to study and get new knowledge. During the Soviet period I was an electronic engineer in Scientific institute. When computers came to our world, I decided to improve my technical qualification, studied programming languages and grew to the position of the leading and high-level programmer. Unfortunately, in the beginning of nineties our Scientific institute was closed. After retirement I was busy by the home matters. But later so much free time appeared in my life. Since I am active user of Internet, I found interesting contacts in net. I saw that in 2014 in Sochi there will be the Olympic games, and I decided to place my application. I thought that something interesting will appear in my life. So, I came into the team of Silver Volunteers in Saint-Petersburg. Knowledge of English language and computer skills helped me to enter the volunteer movement.

  • Where did you study English?

At school and in the University, I liked it very much.

  • Do you know other languages besides English?

My French is at the beginning level. Also, I like Spanish and German. To be a top-level volunteer you need to speak several languages. This insight came to my mind when I was at the Gymnastic Festival in Finland and saw that foreigner volunteers speak three languages at least. I was motivated to study. It was my first sport event abroad.

  •  Probably, Foreign organization committees invite you as a volunteer by themselves?

This happens when you have passed several tests. But at the beginning you must show your own initiative.

  • On how many sport events did you work?

On many. In Helsinki at my first event abroad I Understood that I can communicate with foreign volunteers. After that I placed my volunteer application to the Olympic Games in Rio.

  • What is your motivation?

Certainly, I like to live actively. I like travelling. I passed through my country and now have possibility to get known so much about how people live abroad. Volunteering is an economical kind of tourism. You pay for the transport to the city of event. But there may be some benefits in accommodation and nourishment. In 2019 Moscow launched special program for the volunteers – Mobility Program. I was invited to it and went to the II European Games in Minsk for free. In 2020 I also for free went to Innsbruck where the World Winter Games of Masters took place. Just imagine, people of 80 years old age ski jumped! Also, I was involved in figure skating in Innsbruck. Our team was responsible for the video recording and music for the performances. We felt the event spirit inside.

  •   How is your family treat to your journeys?

Wary at first. When I prepared to leave for Brazil my son told me: “Mama, why do you do this? If you want, I will present you a round-the-world trip”. But I refused and never regretted it. In Rio I spent 40 days and I dive into the local culture and everyday life of Brazil. No touristic trip will not compare with it.

  • Please, share the brightest impressions from your volunteer experience.

I felt indescribable impressions standing near the foot of the giant statue of Jesus Christ in Rio. But the brightest one was my volunteering in my hometown Saint-Petersburg on the World FIFA 2018. We, volunteers came to the stadium with the football team of Brazil, national anthem played, and fans cheered the players… I never felt stronger emotions! Even tears flowed from my eyes. Fantastic atmosphere, you should be inside to live it.

  • What called you to the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Barnaul?

I wanted to get new experience, to get acquainted with Altai region and of ‘course I had a sport interest. Most of all I like to be where many athletes from different countries are located and my speaking skills help to communicate. Besides in 2020 I was bored at home, all my plans ruined because of the pandemic. But now I have great plans for 2022 and hope that there will be no problems.