What are volunteers?

Volunteers are essential in making sporting events happen. Whether it’s getting the kit ready for training, or driving players to matches and competitions, or even providing refreshments for the players, these individuals help to keep clubs running. Furthermore, volunteers can help to make a sporting event a great success by helping organisers and participants alike.

A great deal of effort is required to keep clubs running, and for events to take place. And in many cases, it’s there’s too much for an organiser to undertake themselves. Volunteers can help to ease the burden. As the saying goes, many hands make light work! In addition to helping out, the act of volunteering not only benefits others, but can prove to be hugely rewarding too. And in the process, you can enjoy some great experiences whilst learning valuable new skills too!

Where can you volunteer?

There are many places and ways in you can assist clubs, events or individuals. Helping out with club nights, tournaments and competitions, administration and fundraising is hugely valuable.

Disability sport is an area that is always looking for volunteers but people are afraid to get involved in. These activities can be very rewarding and prove to be a lot of fun. Not only can you assist the participants, but you can take part in lots of the all inclusive activities too! In Hertfordshire, there a number of places to get involved in disability sport, but the Hertfordshire Disability Sports Foundation is a good place to start!

Ultimately, regardless of the role you choose to take, you can help to make sport happen however you want, and a whole range of people will benefit from your contribution.

Why volunteer?

Become a sporting hero. Sport needs people like you. Behind every medal winner or success story, there are people who have given up their time to help them get there. And behind every sporting event are volunteers, like the Games Makers in London 2012. These are the unsung heroes of sport who work tirelessly behind the scenes to help make these happen.

Play more of the sports you enjoy. This is your chance to keep active through sport and to help others get involved too. By taking part in something you enjoy, your passion and enthusiasm can rub off on and inspire others. So not only will you enjoy yourself, but you’ll encourage others to take part and have fun, without realising it!

It looks great for your CV. By helping out, you’ll gain some valuable experience which can add another string to your bow. And don’t forget skills and experience gained from one role/event can often be transferable to other opportunities you come across in the future.

Getting involved!

There are a number of ways you can help to provide support and organisation to a club or event. Why not look into an activity you enjoy doing or maybe help to organise or offer assistance to a club that is wanting to set up an event? Or if you have a skill or some experience that may be of benefit, it may provide some much needed support to a club in need of assistance.

Below are just some ideas of how you can help by volunteering:

  • leading a bike ride
  • marshalling at a local event
  • promoting an event by creating posters, or using social media.
  • provide administrative support at a club or event
  • assisting with serving refreshments
  • helping set up a venue for an activity
Become a volunteer

You can become a volunteer in a number of ways; through some local and national organisations and campaigns, or by heading along to a local sports club and offering your services.

  • Volunteering Herts is a network of accredited Volunteer Centres in Hertfordshire. From here you can find volunteers centres in your district.
  • #TeamHerts is another great place to start and makes it quick and easy for you to give your time, find volunteers and do great things for Hertfordshire.
  • Join In is the nation’s charity for local sports volunteering. It allows people to sign up to be a volunteer, or alternatively look for volunteers too!
  • Be Inspired is another national campaign that gives guidance on how to become a volunteer within different sports. This website not only gives you advice one becoming a volunteer, but also how to get into different sports too.

The University of Hertfordshire also have many Sports Studies, Physiotherapy and Sports Massage students who need experience with local clubs to complete their courses.

Looking for volunteers?

Does your sports club or event need volunteers? Why not advertise your opportunity on social media or dedicated websites like #TeamHerts, or with national organisations and campaigns such as Be Inspired or Join In?

These websites are a great place to advertise any voluntary opportunities you may have, so if you have any sporting events or sessions that you need volunteers for you can advertise this on these. Don’t underestimate the power of social media too. Facebook and Twitter are two powerful and free tools to use to spread the word quickly and to a large audience.

The Herts Sports Partnership runs courses and workshops to help sports clubs to recruit and develop volunteers.