The sports club is core to people’s experience of sport – coaching, facilities and competition are all centred around the club structure. Over 10m adults in England play sport in a club environment. The work done by volunteers is vital to the success of our clubs and our sports. It is in the interests of our sports to ensure that they are supported in their roles and given the support and respect their commitment deserves.
This section will give support and guidance to these volunteers and the clubs, teams, leagues and organisations in which they volunteer. Read an Introduction to Volunteering.
Benefits that volunteers can bring to clubs
- Energy, inspiration and enthusiasm
- Different skills
- New ideas
- Young volunteers have the ability to relate to other young people
- Provide a bridge between younger and older members of the club
- Ensure sustainability of the club
Do you know your volunteers?
Most clubs want volunteers but what is it you would you like to do within your club?
The first step before going out and recruiting new volunteers is to identify the volunteering roles your club requires. To help with this, fill in the Know Your Volunteers checklist.
Where to find volunteers
Now that you have identified the missing volunteer roles within your clubs you may be asking the question, where do I find volunteers? So to help you out here are some ideas on where you can locate them.
County Sport Partnerships are local networks of Local Authorities, NGBs, Clubs, Schools and School Sport Partnerships, Primary Care Trusts and other local agencies committed to working together to increase participation in sport and physical activity.
Or pop down to your nearest volunteer centre and have a chat with a member of staff to discuss your volunteering needs for the club. They will provide support on different recruitment techniques and help you find the right person for the role.
Step into Sport is a programme run by the Youth Sport Trust that enables young people to work towards achieving young leaders awards within baseball, softball and tee ball. It then provides pathways for those interested in the sporting industry to move from their schools to supporting sport in the local community or club environment.
Welfare and good practice
Everyone who participates in baseball or softball, whether paid or volunteer, is entitled to do so in an enjoyable and safe environment. When a club recruits a volunteer it would be worth setting out a basic agreement outlining their role, tasks and the time they can commit to the club. Download an example volunteer agreement document.
Equally, it is crucial that the club ensures it is recruiting people who will conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, follow club rules and adhere to baseball and softball's welfare and good practice standards, particularly when children and young people are involved. Read more about this in the Welfare section.