Opportunity for volleyball event volunteers
17th August 2017
The Volleyball England (VE) events team is expanding ahead of the 2017/18 indoor season. Plenty of opportunities now exist for volunteers to help run top quality volleyball events across the country.
Maintaining a strong volunteer workforce to work alongside VE’s competitions staff is crucial to the successful delivery of a packed and diverse competitions schedule. Typically, this features events ranging from the National Cup Finals through to the Sitting Grand Prix; the NEVZA championships through to the Inter-Regionals. In total, there are 24 events in the schedule for 2017/18.
Currently, a hard core of around 15 volunteers are typically involved throughout the year. Dozens more are involved on a more occasional basis. With a stated commitment to work more collaboratively in future, and with a requirement to keep costs firmly under control, VE is now appealing for more volunteers to come forward.
In total, over 250 volunteer opportunities exist in a typical season, representing over 850 days of volunteer support. Many of those days are expended on large scale events like the NEVZA U-19 competition and the Super 8s Finals which can require anywhere from 60-100 volunteers per day. However, at the smaller end of the spectrum, many other events typically only need two or three volunteers per day.
Those totals don’t take into account volunteering opportunities at the summer beach tournaments, now that all the Beach Tour events are run by independent organisers, or any competitions taking place at a regional level. Add them into the equation and the total volunteering commitment could easily surpass 1000 days per year.
Jonathan Moore, VE’s Competitions and Events Coordinator, said: “The volunteering opportunities available within our competition schedule represent a wonderful way to get more involved with the sport, supporting junior, national and international competitions for both volleyball and sitting volleyball. They’re also a handy way of developing skills which are useful for your professional development – such as project, event and workforce management, safeguarding, communication, photography and first aid.”
“There’s a social side to this too. Many of the volunteers who come back time and time again talk about the sense of community created within the group and a feeling of real achievement in laying these events on. That hard core of volunteers help us week in, week out. Without them, the competition structure would have to be scaled down massively. We need to provide that group with more support though which is why we’re asking for more people to come forward ahead of the new indoor season.”
A variety of opportunities
There is a huge variety in the type of volunteer roles typically available. For the larger events, teams of courtside assistants are required. These are often provided by local youth groups but need to be overseen by volunteer managers. Volunteers are also required to man the information desk and merchandise stalls. Team, hotel and catering liaison volunteers may be required on occasion, along with media assistants, first aiders, results managers, stewards and ticket inspectors.
At the smaller events, where VE events management staff might not be present, volunteers can find themselves working across numerous roles, as well as taking overall responsibility for the event itself. Overnight accommodation is provided for a small number of volunteer roles but daytime refreshments are always provided for all volunteers.
For new volunteers, VE will use the NEVZA championships in Kettering in late October as a way of providing training in specific roles.
Jonathan added: “For any volunteer who wants to get involved, we can always find a way of using their particular skills. With so many events, there’s also scope for progression; starting with one of the smaller roles, for example, before moving to something with more oversight or managerial responsibility before eventually taking sole charge of an event – if that’s what the volunteer wants.”
“Having such a volunteer dependency is simply a fact of life for volleyball events in this country currently. But as we try to open the sport up to get more people involved with how it is run, this is also a wonderful opportunity for volleyball enthusiasts to help deliver the volleyball experience they’ve all been looking for.”
For more information on event volunteering or to sign up for the coming season, contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.