Why do people volunteer at sports clubs?
Probably the most important concept club Presidents, committee members and leaders need to understand is, what is volunteering?
A very simple question but the ramifications are massive for club because without question, after years of working with all types of clubs around every part of Australia, including remote, outback, rural and metropolitan regions the one characteristic that all successful clubs have is a culture of volunteering.
Clubs who have created a culture of volunteering, year on year are much more likely to be successful, achieve their goals, be more fun and enjoyable to be apart of, have more social benefits and above all have a strong sense of belonging between the club and its participants.
Traditionally, we have thought of volunteering as being on the committee or undertaking a role around the club, such as team manager, coaching, canteen manager or other similar traditional volunteering roles.
But here at Sports Community our definition is:
“Any unpaid contribution of a person or group of people that contributes to contributes to achieving club objectives”
Seems a relatively simple definition but potentially forces a rethink for clubs on what volunteering is.
Consider these scenarios:
- Is a parent driving their children to training volunteering?
- Is a player inviting their partner and their best friends to the midseason ball volunteering?
- Is bringing a friend to the club as player or supporter volunteering?
- Is encouraging your friends and family to come and watch you play at the club volunteering?
- Is selling raffle tickets or a box of chocolates to work colleagues volunteering?
In our training sessions there is always considerable debate about what is volunteering, especially driving children to training but without doubt all are examples of people contributing to the goals of the club without payment so are in fact volunteering.
If you can create a culture of volunteering at your club then it will spread the workload and increase massively your club’s capacity to achieve its goals over a sustained period of time, on and off the sporting arena.