Considering volunteering - "Just do it"

Holmenkollen Skifestival is not only an arena for top athletes, but also a place where volunteers can develop and experience many exciting things. Our volunteers play an invaluable role in making the ski events a success! I recently had a chat with Terje, a dedicated volunteer who has been involved in the festival for several years.  

The first time you volunteered, what inspired you to join? 

Terje says that his journey as a volunteer began after he retired. He felt the need to have something meaningful to do, and Holmenkollen Skifestival became the perfect place. He pointed out the importance of having an activity that is both fun, rewarding and useful:
"And I get all those things in Holmenkollen Skifestival." 

Proud and happy in the volunteer team in "Kollen"

What are your responsibilities as a volunteer today? 

Terje describes his current role as warehouse manager or "event logistics". He keeps track of the equipment that the volunteers use to organize the ski races out in the arena, in the athlete cafés, at the children's activities or at the race offices - to name a few. Some might think that he "handles big snow machines, and prep machines and stuff, but no, that's too difficult". For Terje, trucking to the third floor is the most powerful thing he does.  

Terje took his truck driver's license at the age of 66, when he started volunteering in Holmenkollen in 2017. Since then, he has been in Holmenkollen one day a week. It's a regular day of the week where he clears equipment, meets with section managers who need help checking equipment, and has lunch with project managers and those working in Holmenkollen Skifestival 's administration. The tasks he performs are varied and require organization and some planning.  

"The tasks are varied and require a lot of planning. There are large amounts of tools and equipment, and it's crucial that we can keep things in order - I think that's kind of fun."
Another thing Terje says he values highly is being ahead of the game before the actual events take place. He says this as he prepares for a meeting with Jens Schjerven, the stadium manager for biathlon. Together they will check that all the equipment is in order after the packing up last year. 

Terje Østby and Jens Schjerven review and discuss tools for biathlon stadium

Can you share your best moment from "Kollen" as a volunteer?  

Terje recounts two wonderful memories. One involved an unexpected meeting with Crown Prince Håkon last year. "The Crown Prince was a very nice guy, who is really interested in the work we do as volunteers. It was a very nice meeting."
Terje goes on to describe a good memory about being a little ahead of the game and being organized, which allowed him to help another volunteer.
"A fellow volunteer came up and asked: 'Hey, you wouldn't happen to have a couple of beer crates, would you?' Because that would be so practical for something we're building out here at Knollen.
The little things there can also be a memorable moment - I have all sorts of things in the warehouse, and after many years in this business, I know that "Petter Smart solutions" appear every year. Then I pull out the mysterious, just like that: "Wow, you have that too? - Yes, of course" These small moments of collaboration and joy make volunteering memorable. 

What would you say to those thinking about volunteering at "Kollen"? 

Terje's advice to those considering volunteering is simple:

"JUST DO IT!"

He emphasized the joy of pleasing others and himself, it is a pleasure to do something useful.
"It's so rewarding to be involved, meeting so many nice people who are happy to help and occasionally the opportunity to have a chat."

What are you most looking forward to as a volunteer at this year's event? 

"I look forward to experiencing the strong interaction between thousands of volunteers to make the ski races the best in the world."

Holmenkollen Skifestival is much more than just a sporting event. It's a community of dedicated volunteers, like Terje, who find joy, meaning and a sense of belonging in their involvement. So if you're considering joining this amazing team, as Terje puts it: "JUST DO IT!"
Sign up as a volunteer in Holmenkollen!