The volunteer workforce driving sport in England
17th November 2017
Almost 15 per cent of the population in England have volunteered in the last year to support sport and physical activity.
According to the latest research from Sport England, 6.7 million people in England gave up their time at least twice in the last 12 months to help facilitate sport.
Sports Minister Tracey Crouch says: “This fresh insight into volunteering in sports shows that millions of people are playing vital roles up and down the country supporting the grassroots.”
Contrary to the general trend in the volunteer sector, men are much more likely than women to volunteer in sport with 60% of male volunteers compared to 40% female volunteers. Male helpers are also more likely to hold influential roles. The governing bodies and leading sports organisations now want to see more females wanting to volunteer in sports.
“This research tells us that there’s a lot to do to make the experience of volunteering in sport more attractive to women, as there’s a big gender gap,” says Phil Smith, Sport England’s Director of Sport.
Of the 214,284 people surveyed, the volunteer roles they performed included providing transport (42%), coaching or instructing (39%), admin or committee roles (35%), officiating (24%), stewarding (22%) and providing any other help (38%).
When it comes to Volleyball, there is no doubt just how big a role volunteers play in the sport. Volleyball England is a volunteer lead organisation. The Board of Directors who are the key decision makers, the working groups which deliver volleyball projects, to all the referees, club members and the volunteers who take on almost any roles, give up their time because they want to see the sport thrive. The Hub staff members based in Loughborough work to support the volunteers, while reporting to the board and the whole of the membership.
Volleyball is also an inclusive sports. Men and women play the sport and the volunteer workforce is mixed too. Of the 11 current board members, five are female and six are men. Volunteers are the foundation that Volleyball in this country is built on and people who are willing to help are always welcome. 141 people have joined the Pool of Experts, a group of people who have offered their time and expertise to help with volleyball projects.