Today marks the start of National Volunteer Week (16 - 22 May 2022) and this year’s theme is Better Together - volunteering brings people together, building communities and creating a better society for everyone.

Through the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing’s Club of the Future guide, ‘Volunteers and Workforce Valued’ is identified as one of four key areas the clubs must focus on to ensure they demonstrate best practice, meet the changing needs of the South Australian community and continue to thrive.

One club which has outstanding programs for their volunteers is the West Torrens Birkalla Soccer Club (WTBSC).

“We make sure we don’t give roles to one person; it’s shared, and everyone’s got a list of jobs to do,” WTBSC Chairman Amin Ayoubi said.

“We make sure we recognise them; we have an open season launch where we provide drinks and food and give them something back.

“At the end of the season we acknowledge them, and we have a volunteer of the year award.”

Find out more about these initiatives in the video below.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of community sport, making a huge difference in people’s lives and it’s essential for clubs to reward, recognise and retain them.

Here are some ideas on what your club can do to continue capturing new volunteers and support existing ones:

  • Utilise digital content to pitch to and attract volunteers to your club.
  • Explore alternative ways to recruit volunteers (university placements, corporate volunteering, etc).
  • Provide professional and personal development opportunities for volunteers.
  • Explore technology options to support volunteers in performing their duties.
  • Use social platforms to communicate with volunteers.
  • Use online community platforms for project management within the club to ease the burden on volunteers.
  • Explore micro-volunteering.
  • Explore virtual volunteering.
  • Use online community platforms to seek volunteers or workers who fill gaps in their capabilities.
  • Recognise the contributions of volunteers, and their families and partners who often pick up the slack at home in that person’s absence.

Whether you’re a coach, official, team manager, administrator, board/committee member or any other position, thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who are changing communities for the better!