March 15, 2010: Capilano University students share knowledge with Sochi volunteers

      Monday, March 15, 2010
      Contact: Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—Nineteen students from Capilano University shared their Olympic and Paralympic volunteering experience and knowledge with Sochi volunteers at a special ceremony held in downtown Vancouver on Friday, March 12.

      The event was attended by the Honourable Moira Stilwell, minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development for the province of British Columbia. Stilwell has played a key role in forging strong educational links between Sochi’s Krasnodar Region and British Columbia. Dmitry Chernyshenko, president and CEO of Sochi 2014, also attended and highlighted the importance of partnership in establishing a volunteering culture in Russia.

      “These volunteers, including our friends at Capilano University, have added their passion and enthusiasm to the hospitality and friendship here in Vancouver,” Chernyshenko said. “They are experienced people of all ages and cultures who work hard and always keep smiling. They succeeded in creating a fantastic atmosphere during the Olympic Games and now the Paralympic Games.

      “In everything that Sochi 2014 does, we aim to achieve excellence,” he added. “That is why we are looking to engage with volunteers from across the world to incorporate international best practices.”

      Twenty-two members of the Russian Volunteer Team from 17 different regions of Russia, including Sochi and the Krasnodar Region, have come to the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games to enhance Russian expertise of volunteering. They were joined by students from Capilano University who volunteered at Sochi World during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

      The Russian volunteers are students and graduates of the country’s leading universities and were selected by Sochi 2014 during a competition held across more than 50 regions in Russia. All Russian volunteers have extensive experience in organizing volunteer activities in their home regions and many play leading roles in large public organizations and society in general.

      Following Vancouver 2010, members of the Sochi Volunteer Team will return to cities across Russia and champion the importance of developing a culture of volunteering throughout the country.

      The March 12 forms part of Sochi 2014’s wider commitment to develop strong links with Russian and international universities. These institutions are excellent sources of volunteers and also enable Sochi 2014 to contribute to positive development by engaging with the worldwide academic community.

      Before Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Olympic Games, Capilano University (then Capilano College) began exploring ways that it could involve its students in real-life learning experiences during the event. It worked on creating an academic legacy that will benefit its students, employees, institution and communities through a variety of means. These included creating learning opportunities, building the Olympic Games into its curricular mix, opening its three campuses up to social and cultural activities, and partnering with other businesses and organizations.

      On February 19, 2010, Capilano University formed a unique educational partnership with Sochi State University for Tourism and Recreation. The memorandum of understanding acknowledges a 2010 – 2014 working relationship between the two institutions and provides an opportunity for Capilano University to share the lessons learned during the planning and execution of its comprehensive 2010 strategy.

      Also on hand at the signing were officials from the University of Hertfordshire and UK Higher Education Academy – Hospitality, Sport, Tourism & Leisure Network, representing the London 2010 Special Interest Group, and members of LinkBC, the tourism and hospitality education network, which is cohosted by Capilano University.

      Capilano University is a teaching-focused university that serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 7,000 students in credit programs each term with an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. Capilano offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university-level arts and science courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and statements of completion. More information can be found at


      Notes to Editors

      The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee plans to attract 113,000 people to work on Russia’s first Winter Games in January-March 2014. This number will include 3,500 staff, more than 35,000 contractors and 75,000 volunteers.

      Approximately 25,000 will work at the sporting competitions and 50,000 will be stationed at the urban recreation sites.

      Approximately 35% of Canadians, 33% of Britons and 9% of Russians are engaged in any voluntary work.