Shining First Star — meet Gozel
03 September, 2017 (09:00)
When Turkmenistan hosts the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, the country will be scripting a new sporting history for the entire region.
And when that happens, Gozel Achilova, a third year student of Library and Museum Studies at the Turkmen State Institute of Culture, will enjoy a ringside view of history being made.
Achilova, who works as a Ceremony Team Leader, will lead some of the athletes onto the podium to collect their medals and also accompany them back. She will enjoy the sort pf access that most sports fans could only dream of.
“I’ve been a member of the ceremonies team for quite some time. My first experience came during the Sambo test event. Since then, I’ve taken part in all test competitions in Ashgabat and was involved in their medal ceremonies,” she said.
“At the Inspiring Ashgabat Test Event Series, I was a Ceremonies Team leader at all three events — Kickboxing, Swimming and Weightlifting. I worked on all three opening ceremonies and medal distributions,” she added.
Achilova said she first heard about volunteering from her class teacher and immediately decided to sign up.
“One day, my class teacher announced that the Ashgabat 2017 team was on the lookout for volunteers and I instinctively wanted to be a part of it. During my stint as a volunteer, I learned about the importance of friendship and responsibility. Looking back, I feel proud to have been a small part of my country’s march to the future,” she said.
If there was one memory she liked the most about her experiences as a volunteer, what was it?
“My favourite memory came during my first event — Sambo. After the finals, I was closely involved with the medal ceremony and I was shown live on TV. I didn’t realise it until my friends told me about it later. It was a great feeling,” she said.
“Since then, I’ve appeared on television several times. But I still feel very happy when people identify me as ‘someone they saw on TV.’ People have also started identifying me on the road and in college. It’s really fun,” she added.
Gozel is another example of how the country will benefit long-term from the Games when she added: “I will continue to give my time to help my country. I have really enjoyed volunteering so will carry on after the Games as well. ”
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