A Summer of Football at the Women’s World Cup

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Emory Anderson, 3rd year Neuroscience and Organic Chemistry student at the University of St Andrews spent the last month in New Zealand at the Women’s World cup as a Accreditation officer and Pre-Match Ceremony Volunteer. Having grown up around football and now an integral part of the women’s 1st football team at St Andrews, Emory takes us through her time down under.

A Month of Inspiration and Empowerment: My Journey Volunteering at FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Dunedin, New Zealand

11 July – 1 August 2023

As I stand here, reflecting on my unforgettable experience volunteering at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be part of something so much larger than myself. For a whole month, I immersed myself in the heart of the action, and had the honor of working at the Accreditation Center and Pre-Match Ceremonies in the beautiful city of Dunedin, New Zealand.

From the moment I set foot in the bustling accreditation center, I knew I was stepping into a world of passion, camaraderie, and boundless energy. Welcoming players, coaches, and fans from around the globe, I felt a sense of pride knowing that I played a role in making this grand event possible. As a volunteer, I experienced the inner workings of the tournament. My duties involved ensuring the smooth registration process, providing assistance to attendees, and answering their queries with a friendly smile. Each interaction left me awestruck by the dedication of the individuals participating in this historic event. But it was not just about the logistics or the bustling atmosphere; it was about being a part of a collective effort to celebrate women’s football.

Witnessing the unity and respect that permeated the tournament, I realized that I was contributing to empowering women in sports on a global scale. Throughout my journey, I found myself involved in the pre-match ceremonies, where I had the honor of being present during poignant moments that would be etched in my heart forever. Welcoming the teams onto the field, witnessing the passion in their eyes, and seeing the joy on the faces of fans brought tears of joy to my eyes. I knew that these were the moments that inspired greatness and fueled the dreams of countless aspiring female athletes worldwide.

Being a volunteer at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 was not just about giving back to the community; it was about being part of a movement that aimed to break barriers and empower women. I have always believed that change begins with individual actions, and my decision to volunteer was driven by a desire to be a role model for young girls who dream of playing professional sports. Seeing the resilience and skill of the athletes on the field, I felt a profound sense of responsibility to contribute to change in the landscape of women’s sports. My heart swelled with hope as I envisioned a future where women’s achievements in sports would be celebrated and supported on par with their male counterparts. This journey has instilled in me the conviction to continue advocating for women’s rights and equality, both on and off the field. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has ignited a fire within me to be an agent of change, inspiring others to stand up for women in sports and beyond.

As my time as a volunteer ended, I returned to my community with a heart full of gratitude. I am forever indebted to this experience, for it has taught me that the true essence of giving back lies not in grand gestures, but in small, meaningful acts of service.

As I walk away from this extraordinary chapter of my life, I carry with me a renewed commitment to be an ambassador of change and to play my part in creating a future where women’s sports are celebrated and revered. The FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 has left an indelible mark on my soul, and I will forever cherish the memories of being part of a historic event that empowered women and united the world in the name of football.

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