Volunteers contribute to the social and economic value of sport, especially at the community level and by assisting in running major sporting events such as World and National Cups/Championships or the Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games. 1, 2
In 2022, an estimated 3.4 million Australians participated in non-playing roles in the sport and active recreation sector at least once. Over 90% of these participants (3.1 million) were volunteers. 3,6 Many sports and sporting organisations would not be able to run without volunteers who fill many critical roles, including coach, official, manager, administrator, board and committee member. 4
PARTICIPATION - 2022
- Australian Capital Territory - 57,000 (15%)
- New South Wales - 936,000 (13%)
- Northern Territory - 34,000 (17%)
- Queensland - 622,000 (14%)
- South Australia - 245,000 (17%)
- Tasmania - 74,000 (17%)
- Victoria - 807,000 (14%)
- Western Australia - 360,000 (16%)
- Intergenerational review of Australian sport 2017, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) for the Australian Sports Commission, (2017).
- Major Sporting Event Impact and Legacy: Community & Social Engagement, Clearinghouse for Sport, (accessed 26 June 2023).
- AusPlay Data Portal: Non-playing roles, Australian Sports Commission, (accessed 26 June 2023)
- Sport’s unsung heroes: Involvement in non-playing roles, Australian Bureau of Statistics (Perspectives on Sport series), Catalogue Number 4156.0.55.001, (June 2011).
- Definition of Volunteering, Volunteering Australia, (2015).
- AusPlay Data Portal: Volunteers in non-playing roles, Australian Sports Commission, (accessed 26 June 2023).
- AusPlay Data [April 2023], Australian Sports Commission, (accessed 26 June 2023).
Volunteering provides substantial value to society and to the volunteers themselves, including mental, social, and physical benefits.
Research has identified a number of factors that either motivate or provide barriers to volunteer participation.
Strategically managing sport sector volunteers enhances satisfaction and retention.
Australian and international initiatives to support and encourage volunteer participation in sport.
Reviewed by: National Sport Research Agenda Advisory Group (November 2023)
Last updated: 09 November 2023
Content disclaimer: See Clearinghouse for Sport disclaimer
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