Volunteers’ Week 2020 – Volunteering in Sport

This week, 1st – 7th June 2020, is Volunteers’ Week, a chance to celebrate and recognise the millions of volunteers who give their precious time up in the UK each year to their desired causes. Whilst this year it may not be celebrated in the usual way, we can still make sure that we give thanks to and acknowledge our valuable volunteers in the sporting sector. In grassroots sport we know that many of our clubs would not run without volunteers, whether it’s coaching, to organise transport, to schedule games, running the catering, organising events or managing the finances, we rely on them for so many things.

This year, many volunteers are focusing their support by taking on Coronavirus related challenges, volunteering in roles to help communities cope with the many current and anticipated hurdles.

In sport we have seen some amazing examples over the past weeks of how volunteer coaches and club members have shown their initiative and continued to keep sessions running online, as well as engaging their participants in other ways with sporting challenges and quizzes, to name but a few.

During difficult times the power of sport can help so many people in so many ways, not just for physical health but mental health too. For example, being active can help you sleep better, making you feel more tired at the end of the day, it can improve your mood by releasing feel-good hormones making you feel better and give you more energy. Moving more and being active also helps you to deal with stress and anxiety, as doing something physical releases cortisol which helps us manage stress. Being physically active gives your brain something to focus on and can be a positive coping strategy for difficult times, and we all need this at some point.

Celebrating Volunteers in Sport

Each year, many organisations take part in Volunteers’ Week deciding on how best to mark the week in their own way. This year may be different but we still can participate in a way which suits you and your club or organisation best.

Just by saying thank you is often enough and many volunteers will appreciate this, if you want to do more then you can reward them in other ways and when the time is right to do so.

Derby City Sport Forum recently hosted a Club Matters Workshop – ‘Volunteers Experience’, which was really useful and gave a great insight as to why people volunteer in sport and how to make sure their experiences are positive. You can take a look at the Volunteering section of the Club Matters website for information and ideas, as well as on the Volunteers’ Week website for some more inspiration.

We would, of course, be delighted to hear about how your volunteers have made a difference in you club. People are showing more initiative than ever before and helping in new ways which haven’t been seen. Whatever it is, telling their story is a great way to recognise and thank them for all of the great things they’re doing, so get in touch in the usual way and tell us more.

email: helen.britten@communityactionderby.org.uk