When I first was confronted with the task of writing an article about a famous Austrian Sportswoman / Sportsman, I did not know whom to pick at first. Not that our athletes are “bad” – they just hardly ever find themselves at the international top.
Then I remembered Marcel Hirscher – who is not only Austrian but also one of the most successful ski racers of all time.
Marcel Hirscher was born on 2 March 1989 in Hallein (Salzburg) as a son of two skiing teachers. While his mother was Dutch, his father came from Austria and together they owned a ski school.
Since the age of 15, Marcel Hirscher attended and won all different kinds of important competitions. He has won the world championship title seven times and, as the first one ever, the overall World Cup eight times in a row.
Since his win at the world championship in Åre on 17 February 2019 he is considered to be the best alpine skier in history.
Seven months after this remarkable achievement (on 4 September 2019) and at the age of
30 Marcel Hirscher announced his retirement from alpine skiing.
Currently, he is living in Annaberg, together with his wife and his one-year-old son.
The text was written in October 2019.
Lena is Austrian, 18 years old and has just finished school. She has decided to come to Madeira as a gap year to broaden her horizons. Also, she is always eager to experience exciting new stuff and is generally interested in languages, sports and quality time.
Erasmus+ is a program of the European Commission embracing the fields of education, training, youth, and sports during the period 2014-2020. One of the major aspects is the cooperation between the different fields where the program acts, hence contributing for a diverse and rich Europe.
Amongst the several goals of the programme, the following are prioritised: the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target; the aims of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks; the sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education; the overall goals of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018); the objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport and the promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
In order to achieve these goals, the Erasmus+ has several action policies. The Key Action 1 (KA1) is directed towards the mobility of people; Key Action 2 (KA2) for the cooperation for innovation and the interchange of good experiences; and Key Action 3 (KA3) which is for the support of reformation policies.
Since 1991 the University of Madeira Students’ Union has developed a wide incentive policy for voluntary work. In 2013 the Students’ Union started the process to receive, send and coordinate Erasmus+ projects of the European Voluntary Service, in order to have a larger influence in the volunteering field. The Union received its first volunteer withing the ambit of a KA1 project in 2014. Many efforts have been done to allow young people from Madeira to take part in several initiatives in Europe, as well as propose several projects allowing young people from several countries to work in the projects of the Students’ Union of the University of Madeira. The main goal of the voluntary work is the contribution of the volunteers to the communities and places they will be staying, being their work not rewarded with payment.
We believe that the European Voluntary Service is a mechanism full of experiences, allowing the approved candidates to have the privilege of taking part in these projects and benefit the places and communities where these volunteers will be staying.
Since 2013, the University of Madeira Students’ Union has received volunteers that have collaborated in several activities and initiatives. Besides being able to enjoy a wonderful experience which will contribute to their personal and professional growth, they are able to contribute in a unique way to the community in which they are inserted and to join dozens of volunteers from the University of Madeira.