Today marks a major milestone for the FIFA U-20 Football World Cup New Zealand 2015, with the launch of the volunteer uniform and details of the legacy benefits the tournament have brought to New Zealand.
Minister for Sport & Recreation Dr Jonathan Coleman was joined by Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chief Executive Dave Beeche and members of the LOC Senior Management team at a football festival hosted by St Peter’s College in Auckland where the volunteer uniforms, designed by FIFA global partner, adidas, were paraded in front of a field full of excited footballers and media. The uniforms incorporate the tournament’s colours and its uniquely New Zealand design.
Mr Beeche said the LOC had been hugely impressed with the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers who have come from all spectrums of society, 53 different ethnicities in total are represented within the volunteer force.
“Without the support of volunteers we would simply be unable to host major global sporting events like the FIFA U-20 World Cup. They are an integral part of the success of events such as this and they are also going to look fantastic in the uniforms designed for them.
“What is even more encouraging from this tournament is that of the 1,500 volunteers who will assist in the running of the event, almost 1,000 have agreed to continue to provide their voluntary time to football in New Zealand whether it be as coaches, referees or administrators and this is a fantastic legacy from hosting this event.”
Mr Beeche emphasised that the roles of the volunteer were many and varied. “They will perform various roles including assisting with catering, media, IT and competitions within the seven Host City Stadiums. They will also assist with transportation, team liaison and at the various promotional events in the Host Cities, including the Fever Pitch (Fan Zones). They are often the face of New Zealand for our international guests and therefore integral to the impression left on those visiting from overseas,” said Mr Beeche.
The integration of New Zealand’s increasing multi-ethnic community into football was another legacy initiative outlined at today’s event. The other key legacy programmes include:
*Playing Field Gains – the completion of a number of playing field improvements in Christchurch, Whangarei and Hamilton for team training purposes during the tournament that will be left for the local players at the completion of the event.
*Participation in futsal – driven through New Zealand Football’s College Futsal programme and the LOC sourced and funded futsal court that has been visiting host cities in the lead up to the tournament.
*School programme – 412 schools signed up to the curriculum based schools programme building on New Zealand Football’s work in schools.
Highlights of the legacy plan can be found on the right-hand side of this article.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup involving 24 countries from six FIFA confederations kicks off at North Harbour Stadium on 30 May. A total of 52 matches over 22 days will be played in seven host cities from Dunedin to Whangarei with the final back at North Harbour on 20 June. Christchurch and Auckland will host semi-finals.
Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Nigeria are some of the star teams performing and tickets for the tournament have topped the 100,000 mark with hospitality virtually sold out for the Final.
Earlier today two members of the New Zealand U-20 squad, Deklan Wynne and Clayton Lewis and two media representatives, Steven Holloway (New Zealand Herald) and Chris Chang (Breakfast, TVNZ) went head to head in a keepy uppie competition on the Sky Walk at the Sky Tower to mark One Month To Go until the tournament kicks off.
Having lost their challenges, Clayton Lewis and Chris Chang were forced to complete a 192m Sky Jump which was all filmed and live on Breakfast TV.