Finding helping hands to support the day to day running of sport and recreation clubs can be challenging.

As Para Hills Cricket Club Secretary Tyson Roling explains, they’ve resolved this issue by implementing a new volunteer model which gets all club members involved.

How did this idea come about?

The club was struggling to find volunteers to help with a number of tasks due to the lack of committee structure and responsibilities given to individuals. The committee began a targeted recruitment process, allowing a new executive and general committee to be formed. With a new direction and member confidence in the new committee, they went about changing the culture and implementing an ‘every member is a volunteer’ model.

Who championed this change or were there multiple people involved?

The executive committee championed this change and drove this as an expectation within the playing group as the committee noticed that team volunteering is much more appealing to some than individual based volunteering.

What challenges or issues is it designed to address?

It is designed to address volunteer burnout. The model has been designed to break down roles so members can contribute without needing to dedicate a substantial amount of time to their volunteer efforts.

Do you think this initiative could be easily picked up by other clubs and in different sports?

Absolutely. The leadership group is responsible for driving this volunteering culture with their teammates. It creates a sense of comradery for everyone to be able help out the club in this way.

What has been the reaction (from club members and broader)?

The reaction has been great. We always have people on board to cook meals after each match and this has created a better social environment. Members are happy to volunteer with their teammates twice a year as they can see they are contributing towards the success of the club. It has shown that a small commitment of volunteering provides enormous benefits to the environment and culture that is created within a club.

Is there a next step/are you looking to grow this further?

The club is now looking towards getting juniors involved. Although it will be on a much smaller scale than the team volunteering implemented for seniors, they will start by doing a junior event each year that is driven by the players. This will be done in conjunction with the junior sub-committee and the aim is to make the juniors feel that their ideas are valued at the club.

Any advice for other clubs seeking to implement this?

Create the expectation at the start of the year at a season launch and roster players from the A-Grade team first up to show that no one is exempt. The other piece of advice is to give plenty of notice for the team that is rostered on that weekend.

Has this supported increase in members/volunteers/revenue?

Absolutely. Now that we have volunteers providing services such as meals, this has enabled the club to generate more revenue. We have created an environment where people want to not only come back to the club regularly but also stay at the club longer. The club’s new culture has generated a lot of interest in people wanting to join, which has seen the club reach capacity at the facility with player memberships up 50% since the implementation of the new committee structure. The model is now seen as the ‘norm’ in the club, rather than being viewed as players volunteering.