There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, that the writer thought to share a glimpse of a critical area involved in hosting, particularly when you have a significant number of teams attending and participating, and who require language assistance.
One obvious and logical place to look, is the various native language speakers communities combined with the various schools and language departments, at the numerous colleges and universities.
In this regard, we are delighted to share with readers, some experiences and the level of preparedness by volunteers…..and in particular one of the attaches to Team Bahamas, Mara Camacho Zacarías, a recent graduate of the University of Vasco de Quiroga, (UVAQ) in Morelia Mexico.
Apart from assisting our team, this individual was very visible in assisting the medical team, with communicating with athletes from all countries participating.
And finally, this individual showed diversity by doing interpretation during the congress held.
Quite a challenge and experience…..behind the scenes.
The first Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championship was celebrated on 1967, in Jalapa, Veracruz, México. Since then, the Central American and Caribbean Athletic Confederation (CACAC) assumed the responsibility to promote and develop the athletics (track and field athletics, road running, walking and cross country running) in the Central American and Caribbean region. As it is clearly and accurately expressed by the typography marked on its constitution.
The CAC Jr. Championships
In his line of duty CACAC was awarded the role to hold the championships every two even years in the Junior/Youth categories.
A special proof of this statue was the XX Central American and Caribbean Junior Championship under 18 and under 20 categories, celebrated in Morelia, México 2014; event in which I was proudly involved.
Selection and role of volunteers
As part of the organizing committee and integrating the department of international promotion at IMDE (Instituto Municipal de Cultura Física y Deporte) in collaboration with CONADE (Comisión Nacional del Deporte) I was given the position as translators organizer.
Main Function: Provide translation and simultaneous interpretation to athletes, officials, judges and general audience members of the 38 different member nations that took part in the championship. And assist the delegations in the diverse areas : Airports, Hotels, General Transportation, Press and Media, Stadium, Dining room, Doping, Medical assistance, Congresses, Call rooms and Award zone.
My experience and what was learnt
My name is Mara Camacho Zacarías, and I worked as a volunteer during the track and field junior championship that my natal city hosted. I had learned the ropes of this position one year ago; when in 2013 I participated at the 24th Central American and Caribbean Athletics Senior Championship. However, no lived experience is similar to another.
From 4 to 6 July, the well-known pink stone city was graced to receive a world-class athletics joint. Days of bright sun but with sudden cloudiness and storms did not shoot down tempers of the warm and determined athletes. El “Complejo Deportivo Bicentenario” the stadium where the events took place, received athletes who refuse to lose.
Personally the championship left me a very satisfying experience because I got to know the previous process that an athlete has to complete to enter the field or track. I also learned technical information and processes that coaches and delegates make to subscribe their athletes in an event, or when they make appeals, even I was able to learn a little of the process of doping and its consequences of being positive, without discarding what I learned about the vital function of CACAC, its vision and commitment.
The competition days went so fast. Notwithstanding I had the opportunity to meet participants closely. I met the human person more than athlete, delegate or officer. I met wonderful people I call today friends, paisanos and future colleagues. I would like to confer the Bahamas Delegation a special place in my heart and memory. “Working” with this team was a pleasure. Rediscover my city and show to you our patrimony by walking through our main avenues was an enjoyable mission. Hope it has been in that way for you too.
I witnessed the event so closely, that even I got to suffer the pain, injuries and faints of the athletes after competing. At the same time I celebrated and rejoiced their achievements. Involving myself in this experience made me understand track and field. Not only because I learned technical concepts but because I realized that it takes an athlete months or years to compete on an event that lasts 10 seconds.
The sucesss of the championships
After observing the grandstands I realized that particularly athletics still need diffusion. Athletes want to be legendary and also aspire to rewrite the history or at least want to redefine their positions, we can let them do their jobs and we can focus on ours. To reach outstanding diffusion of athletics, its competitions and sports fields is now on hands of those who had the chance to experience it. Personally this experience motivated me to know more about this discipline, to do some research and spread the word between my relatives, friends, colleagues and college, not just to practice it for health, also to support, cheer up our athletes, watch the competitions, and boost the circle of people who are getting involved or interested in track and field.
To promote sport among the world requires the small contribution of society, as the various agencies of the Governments, organizations, federations, coaches, athletes, society and families. We are capable of doing it, because society teamwork is the fuel that allows people to attain uncommon results.