Volunteers in Sport

Volunteers in Sport    
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
evaluated by  Evaluation by:  Brendan Lynch, Principal, exSport (February 2016)
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 16 May 2017
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Community Sport Coaching
Australian Sports Commission


Volunteers support all parts of the sport system across Australia, including sustaining community grassroots sport through to supporting elite level sport and the successful staging of major events such as the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Volunteers perform many critical roles in sport including serving as coaches, officials, team managers, administrators, board and committee members; with many individuals filling multiple roles.

Key Messages 


Volunteers contribute to the social and economic value of sport in Australia, particularly at the community grassroots level.


Approximately 2.3 million Australians donate their time and energy to community sport and recreation clubs.


The labour input of Australian volunteers in sport has been estimated to be valued at AUD $4 billion annually.


With regard to sports club workforce development—the ongoing provision of education and training opportunities, positive recognition, and other forms of support for sport volunteers, has been shown to dramatically improve volunteer recruitment and retention rates, as well as the broader sustainability of Australian sport.


Volunteering may provide many psycho-social and self-esteem benefits to the volunteer.

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