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Shining First Stars — Meet Rahim

26 July, 2017 (14:05)
Tags: Volunteers

With the Ashgabat 2017 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games less than two months away, young Rahim Hojagulyyev is becoming increasingly excited.

Rahim, who is a proud First Star, will volunteer as a Workforce Team Leader during Central Asia’s biggest ever multi-sport competition.

The second year marketing student at the Turkmen State Institute of Economics and Management, said he was thrilled with the opportunity.

“Ashgabat 2017 is the biggest competition Turkmenistan has ever organised and I’m proud to be a part of it. When I grow old and my grandchildren ask me to tell them tales about the golden period in our nation’s history, I’ll entertain them with my volunteering experiences,” he said with a smile.

Rahim, who began his volunteering journey a little over a year ago during the Asian Senior Sambo Championships in Ashgabat in May 2016, said he had enjoyed the ride so far.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience from the start. After the Asian Sambo Championships, I volunteered for test events for Kurash, Tennis, Athletics, Ju-Jitsu and the Inspiring Ashgabat Test Event Series. On each occasion, I learned new things and made new friends,” he said.

“Volunteering has totally changed my outlook on life. The experiences have made me a better communicator and my foreign language skills have improved. Whenever I volunteer, I’m really happy because I get to help people around me,” he added.

Last year, Rahim travelled to Yakutsk, Russia, to volunteer at the Sixth Children of Asia International Sports Games. He highlighted this as his favourite experience to date. 

“The trip to Yakutsk was very memorable. Until then, I had never travelled so far away from home. First I flew to Moscow and then boarded another eight-hour flight to Yakutsk. In July, the temperature in Ashgabat was around 40 degrees while in Yakutsk, it was just 10. The climate change was extreme, but it was fun. Had it not been for my decision to volunteer, I probably would have never visited Yakutsk,” he said.

So is he ready for more volunteering duty?

“I’m definitely looking forward to Ashgabat 2017. And if they’ll have me for future events, I’m game for more,” he said.

The First Stars have recruited nearly 8,000 volunteers who are being put through extensive training to be ready to welcome the sporting world to Turkmenistan between 17–27 September.

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