ActiveVoice: Recognising volunteers, the heart of community sport
Monday, May 28, 2018
Written by Mariah Ririnui, Community Sport Advisor
Volunteers are a significant part of community sport and without them many sports would simply not be able to take place.
Volunteers can be found in all corners of the sports world – whether it’s blowing a whistle, coaching, balancing the books or helping cook the sausages for the fundraising BBQ – each and every volunteer plays a significant role in making sport happen.
According to the latest Sport New Zealand Active NZ survey, more than one in four Bay of Plenty adults volunteer in sport and recreation. The survey showed 26 per cent of Bay adults most commonly volunteered in the roles of coach, parent helper, officiating roles and administrative roles. Also, almost half of young people volunteered for sport and recreation in the Bay, with 45 per cent of people aged 10 to 18 years giving time outside classes in a volunteer role.
Later this month Sport Bay of Plenty will recognise the contribution of our local sports volunteers at our annual Volunteer Breakfast events. We will hold three events across the Bay, in Tauranga, Rotorua and Whakatane, all during National Volunteer Week which runs from June 17 - 23.
The Community Sport team believe it’s important to recognise volunteering and the place it has in keeping communities strong and healthy. Volunteers dedicate their own valuable time to ensure sport can take place for others, rather than for personal benefit. They are special people who aren’t there for the credit or the praise, but it’s nice for us to be able to say thanks.
We also work alongside clubs and organisations to make sure they have the capability and education around volunteer management. This enables clubs to recruit and retain volunteers by making them feel valued and appreciated for the time and effort they put into sport. This is especially important as some of the values that motivate people to volunteer in sport and recreation are things like generosity, love of sport, social connections and appreciation.
Volunteers are the heart of community sport. They are often the first people to arrive and the last ones to leave.
If you’re an athlete, next time you’re out participating in your sport, try to remember to thank the volunteers – whether they are coaches, managers, officials, or other helpers – for their help in making your sport happen.
If you are a local sports volunteer, we would love for you to join us at one of our Volunteer Breakfasts. Click here to register for our June events.
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