Every team in Europe relies heavily on their volunteers to keep the teams running efficiently. On game day, at any given park across the continent, you'll find a utility volunteer - someone who does it all. While attending the Women's Softball European Championship in Bollate, Italy last month it didn't take us long to find their team's go-to volunteer.
Sylvia Botturi has been part of Bollate softball for so many years she has outlasted most of the current staff. No one can say for certain when she started because, in their experiences at the park, she's always been around.
During the week we spent in Bollate Sylvia caught our attention almost immediately. She was at the park well before us every day. Even on the magical morning we managed to arrive at 7:00 for a pre-game interview, she was already there. Each and every night when we left, and the media generally doesn't leave the park until at least two hours after game time, she was still around.
Throughout the days we spent at the park Sylvia was everywhere and nowhere at the same time. One minute she'd be wiping down tables and serving fresh water to the players, the next she was playing games with the younger kids. No matter the time of day or the weather outside, Sylvia was smiling and enjoying every moment. She was also working very, very hard.
One reason we took notice is she never stood still. Whenever someone wanted to know if we had seen Sylvia we would say, "Yes, she's right over..." and turn to find she was gone again. From restocking the kitchen to helping with equipment during the rainouts, Sylvia was everywhere they needed her to be, right when they needed her.
If she didn't have something to do, she found work for herself. While she worked, she danced and laughed and chatted with everyone around her. In short, she made our experience at the game so pleasant we wanted to learn more about her.
We asked Sylvia for an interview and she was happy to oblige our request. We enlisted the help of a few of her teammates to talk to us about the affect her work has on the team and it's community.
Hey, we know talent when we see it. When you watch the interview, we expect you'll see what we scouted but remember, she belongs to team Italia and folks in Bollate wouldn't have it any other way.