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Sport Australia acknowledges volunteers during 2019 National Volunteer Week

Sport Australia acknowledges volunteers during 2019 National Volunteer Week
May 20, 2019

With an estimated 2.3 million Australians volunteering their effort to sport and physical activity each year, Sport Australia Chief Executive Kate Palmer is encouraging every sporting participant to thank their local volunteers during National Volunteer Week from 20th to 26th May.

National Volunteer Week celebrates the six million Australians who volunteer their time to causes in Australia, and Palmer says no industry benefits more than sport.

The theme of 2019 National Volunteer Week is “Making a world of difference” and it will involve thousands of events around the country.

“Volunteers donate 158 million hours to sport a year, that’s the equivalent of almost 90,000 full-time jobs. Research has conservatively valued that contribution at $3 billion, but to me and the Australian sporting industry our volunteers are priceless – they are the backbone of the Australian sport industry.

“It would be misleading to describe volunteering as a thankless task, because Australian sport has some of the most passionate and committed volunteers in the world. Volunteering is linked to positive mental, social and physical benefits.

“At the same time, we need to ensure our volunteers feel valued, because the reality is many sports in Australia may not exist without the commitment and dedication of our volunteers.

“We should celebrate our volunteers every day, but I urge every Australian sporting participant to make an extra effort and reach out this week and say thanks. It could be giving your mum or dad and extra hug for coaching your football team. It could be giving the officials three cheers at the end of your match or simply saying thanks. It could be helping the team manager carry the sporting kit-bag.

“You might even want to take the tongs at the canteen barbecue one weekend and volunteer yourself. The more volunteers Australian sport has, the stronger we will be.”

Unlike volunteering generally, sport volunteering and particularly club sport volunteering, is strongly skewed to families.

Some 77% of club sport volunteers are aged between 35-54 years, compared to 30% of volunteers outside of sport.

The types of roles sport volunteers fill include: general support (55%); fundraising (45%); scorer or timekeeper (37%); canteen/ bar duties (35%); being a committee member or administrator (31%); being a coach, instructor or teacher (28%); or being a referee (22%).

Seasonal club sport volunteering is most common (58%, but almost 24% volunteer in club sport all year round.

Club sport volunteers spend some significant time volunteering with 52% of weekly club sport volunteers giving more than 10 hours a week.

Related Articles

29th April 2019 - Shire of Broome and St John Ambulance partner to provide sporting club volunteers with first aid training

22nd March 2019 - Rottnest Island supports initiative to reduce plastic waste

21st February 2019 - Tasmanian Government acknowledges Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens’ volunteers

27th June 2018 - Sport NZ Chief Executive acknowledges the value of volunteers

20th March 2018 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks offers free entry to Commonwealth Games athletes and volunteers

30th June 2017 - NSW Community Sports Awards recognises roll of volunteers


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