Updated: May 13
Interview with Bence Garamvölgyi
Bence Garamvölgyi, the president of the Budapest Association for International Sports interviewed by a dedicated BAIS member, Amine. Read on to find out more about what sports Bence practices, his background and the story about the foundation of BAIS and more.
Please, tell me more about your connection to sports and your background!
Ever since my childhood, I practiced different kinds of sports: football, swimming, gym, and a lot more. My Erasmus semester in Verona, Italy changed my life, and I traveled around the world in the last 10 years. I have an MA degree in International Relations and I am about to finish my Ph.D. dissertation in sports diplomacy. I worked in the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities, the European Commission, and ENGSO Youth and now I am managing the non-profit sports organisation of BAIS.
What kinds of sports do you do?
I played football for over 10 years. Before my knee injury, I played in the Hungarian 3rd class. Then my attention turned to different sports and I have tried a lot of movements from ultimate frisbee to wall climbing. My new favorite is snowboarding.
What is the story behind BAIS?
Long story short: we got together with some like-minded people and we started to organize sports events for incoming international students. We started off with a football league, crazy runs, and hiking trips. Our group was growing steadily and there was a great demand for free and fun sport and recreational activities. We have organized sports events since 2014, but the association was officially registered only in 2017. The key idea is that sport brings people together and it promotes dialogue and mutual understanding between people of different origins.
How does a day look like working in BAIS?
BAIS is a volunteer-based NGO, we sacrifice a lot from our free-time to run the organization. The BAIS Board communicates on a daily basis and we usually have meetings and calls in the evenings. Thank god we have a part-time employee who can support our operations! Friendship and common interest are what definitely move the association forward.
How has COVID-19 affected the organization? And what are your future goals?
COVID-19 has impacted everybody’s life. There are no international events, no youth exchanges, or trainings. We had to postpone a lot of our activities and we had to move many of our activities online. Still, last summer was a success, everybody wanted to take part in our hikes!
"We are confident that once this difficult situation ends, there will be even a bigger demand for our activities!"
Bence Garamvölgyi, president of BAIS
Budapest, 2021. 03. 29.
Find out more about the BAIS team members here.
Meet the author:
"I moved to Hungary 3 years ago from Tunisia as a PhD student. As a fan of outdoor sports, I was looking for like-minded people and I was lucky to find BAIS members from the first months. I joined them and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made!"