National Sport Volunteering Plan announced

Local swimmer Ebony Nix has been selected to represent the NSW Dolphins in 2021.

THERE are concerns about volunteering in sport, with numbers shrinking post COVID-19.

As Australia comes off the high from Olympic Gold moments with swimmers Emma McKeon or Ariarne Titmus, or Keegan Palmer in skateboarding, there were many behind the scenes that have volunteered and supported our athletes.

Without the parents, coaches, volunteers and team efforts in the early years of competition, many of our athletes would not have been as successful in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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Sport Australia has launched its new vision and plan to revolutionise sport volunteering.

The report ‘The future of sport volunteering’ reveals a deep insight into the current state of sport volunteering in Australia.

A new National Sport Volunteering Plan has been announced to improve sector collaboration and enhance the volunteer experience.

Sport Australia has taken the next steps towards building a more collaborative, cohesive, and contemporary approach to volunteering in sport with the release of an industry-first insights report and new national plan for the future of sport volunteering.

Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton said, “We know from our recent Community Perceptions Monitor survey that only 53% of adults who volunteered in sport before COVID-19 were back volunteering by March 2021, and while there has been steady improvement in volunteers returning to sport in recent months, this is a critical time to ensure we are doing everything we can to attract and retain volunteers in sport.

“In partnership with Volunteering Australia we recently conducted workshops with the key sport, government, and volunteer bodies, as well as engaging community sporting clubs, not for profit organisations, academics, and experts from outside the sports industry to gain a deeper understanding of the volunteer experience and build a framework and a vision for the future.

“Our vision is for people from all walks of life to see and realise opportunities to contribute to individual, club and community goals in a way that suits them.

“To achieve this, we have drawn from our research to develop a plan with the support of the sector to modernise and future-proof our volunteer offering,” Mr Dalton said.

Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck said, “We are a sporting nation and without our 3.1 million sport volunteers it simply wouldn’t be possible for our community sporting clubs to function.

Certainly at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics we punched above our weight, taking out sixth place internationally.

The Boomers took bronze, McKeon amassed an incredible 7 medals, while there was a silver in the high jump for Nicola McDermott and a gold for Jessica Fox in the kayak.

The United States, who took out first place, has a population of over 328 million people while in sixth place Australia has just 25.6 million.

“Volunteers not only galvanise our local communities, but they are also the backbone of the sports industry.

“It is vital that our current volunteers are valued and supported and that newcomers are easily able to find and get involved in volunteering opportunities that suit them,” Minister Colbeck said.

The research report highlights several opportunity areas for the sport sector to consider such as better collaboration between community sport clubs to drive operational efficiencies and reframing the perception of volunteering to enhance its value proposition.

The opportunities are focused on action at the community sport level, while outlining the role for sport and volunteering bodies to enable this action.

The National Sport Volunteering Plan outlines Sport Australia’s role in leading and supporting sport to navigate the evolving volunteer landscape.

The impact of the national plan will be assessed annually over an initial four-year period.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

 

Volunteers are essential for keeping the Nelson Bay Hockey Club activities running smoothly.

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