Volunteers make a significant contribution to the sport and recreation. Sport is dependent on the unpaid labour of thousands of volunteers. This means that for every paid person there are at least eight to ten unpaid volunteers.
Going back to when I worked on events in NZ, research carried out by Sport & Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) it was discovered that the number of adults who volunteer as coaches, referees or administrators, or assist with other organisational duties has remained constant. The problem that has arisen and yet to be resolved as a result of increased demand for volunteer services without a significant increase in the supply of volunteers. A lack of sufficient volunteers poses a real threat to the continuation of organised sport and recreation and safety of athletes and participants.
Increasing demands on people’s spare time place’s a strain on their availability and their commitment to volunteer work. The nature and quality of the volunteer experience is also a factor. While the recruitment and retention of volunteers are major concerns across the sport and recreation sector, of greater concern is the quality of volunteer management practiced by the organisations that need for volunteer support.
Fundamental change in all volunteer management practices is required. From research SPARC know that volunteers are looking for more effective and efficient systems and processes for managing their work.
Volunteers are very special people and more effort must be made to keep them involved and engaged. By looking after our volunteers and providing them with greater support, we are not only showing them how much we value them but we are increasing the chance that they might continue to support sport and recreation in
(SPARC) identified improving volunteer support for sport and recreation organisations as a key factor in achieving higher physical activity levels for New Zealanders, what do we need to do to continue the momentum of growth in participants in events across Ireland?