Increase Recognition for Volunteers in Sport

Vicsport, Victoria's peak sporting body, today called for an increased recognition of the major role played by over half a million volunteers in Victoria who underpin the effective operation of community sport in Victoria.

Steven Potts, CEO of Vicsport said National Volunteers Week 8-14 May is an appropriate time to recognise the commitment and personal contribution that individuals and their families provide to local sporting clubs, often over long periods of time.

A recent discussion report by the Department of Human Services and Health on Valuing Sport in Victoria noted that volunteers are subject to the same changes in work patterns and lifestyle and other calls on their time that are driving people towards more flexible and less time consuming options than some traditional sport offerings.

The report also noted volunteers are more likely to stay involved if they feel supported with resources, knowledge and support from their governing bodies. This feeds into member retention and boosting participation numbers.

Mr Potts said in sporting clubs every day there are volunteers picking up the responsibilities ranging from coaching, organising game day, coordinating rosters, managing clubs, fundraising, mentoring young members and obtaining sponsorship to ensure the long term viability of clubs.

"A special recognition should also be reserved to the thousands of volunteers who take on the important role of umpiring in all sports.

"Apart from organising sporting activities, volunteers have been integral in building community capacity and a strong history for community clubs which creates a local pathway for following generations into sport at a local level."

Currently in Victoria over 3.25 million Victorians play sport or are engaged in active recreation which involves 580,000 volunteers, 100 sporting associations and 16,000 clubs.*1

Sport in Victoria also employs 26,000 Victorians. *1

*1 Reference

Valuing Sport and Recreation - a framework for the future background information

Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services December 2016

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