Volunteer Profile: Mantvydas Ambraziejus | 14.11.2012
Mantvydas has been a competitive high jumper for over 15 years and he works as a technology engineer. He says his mission is to combine his two passions in order to develop athletics in his native Lithuania, a country which, though small, has a surprisingly high number of members in the European Athletics Young Leaders Community, currently 38.
By bringing innovative technological solutions to the sport, Mantvydas hopes to develop social projects that encourage greater participation by children. Instead of sitting waiting for something to happen, he has stepped up and taken on much responsibility himself.
He is currently involved a number of projects and lately a great deal of his time has been dedicated to a project entitled "General Financing" Extreme Running Race.
However, his work doesn't finish there. As well as writing a research project and looking for an internship, he has been heavily involved in the planning and promotion of no less than three marathons.
These include the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade 2012, which took place at the end of September, where Mantvydas was working closely with the Lithuanian marathon champion Živilė Balčiūnaitė to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer.
With over 360 hours of volunteer work, Mantvydas has been the most active of all his countrymen and among the top 10 most active members of the whole Community. For all his efforts, his has been awarded the European Athletics-UNESCO silver certificate.
Recently, we were able to get a few thoughts from Mantvydas:
Hi Mantvydas. Let's start with a big question related to both your work and your sport. As an IT specialist, what do you think new technologies can bring to athletics?
Since I have a master's degree in technology, I can always talk enthusiastically and broadly about new technologies. New technology in sport can, without a doubt, help in many ways, ranging from athletes preparation, rehabilitation, post-traumatic therapy, media, social networking and building equipment, such as race measurement systems, laser technology, imaging technology etc.
However, sophisticated technologies require huge investments and large teams. Therefore, as a specialist in this field, so far I am preparing simpler ideas and want to apply innovative technology solutions for the sport of athletics.
First of all, I want to develop the sport in my country, Lithuania, because technically we all are outdated. I am sorry that our country's government is extremely casual in solving these problems.
For myself I have very great ideas on how to create a new, modern communication social network specifically tailored for athletes, as well as the design of a very powerful database, archiving various competitions and sports careers. I have other ideas for sports management and marketing platforms. These not only makes others aware of our sport, but can also lead to a very intelligent and playful way to involve children.
I see from the Community website that you have been involved in the "General Financing" Extreme Running Race. Tell us, how did the idea come to life?
For several years, these extreme runs have taken place in Poland. They host a variety of the world runs through obstacles, such as hills, walls and wells; everything a person constructed artificially. Our Director of the Association Sports Events came up with the idea to do such an event in Lithuania.
We had friends and associates on board and started talks with government representatives. A friend suggested we do this event in his private estate because he has his own plot of land with forest, marsh, mud and other obstacles. Government representatives supported this initiative.
We have developed an advertising campaign and everything was ready for the first year, which gathered some 130 participants. All the participants after the finish were very satisfied and happy.
What was your role?
My main role was to plan, design and program the website we used to manage the registration of participants. This included sending newsletters, informing participants about the event and ensuring the registry of volunteer work. I also helped to install part of the route, as well as further support of core operations.
So, what is next for you?
Currently, I am writing my research project associated with technology and the environment. It takes away a lot of my time. I would like to get an internship with a German technology company. I am sure I will be able to do a good internship, as well as continuing my work at sporting events.
I am also finishing up the work on another of our projects, "The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade with Živilė Balčiūnaitė 2012". This event is included in the category: Athletics and Women. This was a very noble action in order to contribute to the prevention of severe disease.
I'm also helping with IT issues at the Vilnius International Marathon.
In the near future I shall build a new design for our event next year: 1st Trakai Half-Marathon, due to take place May 2013.
Thank you, Mantvydas, and keep up the good work.
Certificates of recognition for volunteer work are now being sent to members of the European Athletics Young Leaders Community (Bronze for 100 hours, Silver for 250 hours and Gold for 500 hours) and athleticscommunity.org will be publishing spotlight profiles of many of the winners in the coming weeks and months.
To learn more about Mantvydas, his projects and the Community click here.