Volunteers are Sports Heroes

Volunteers are the backbone of Australian sporting organisations which would be unable to function or even exist without them.

Page last updated: 20 August 2014

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20 August 2014

Volunteers are the backbone of Australian sporting organisations which would be unable to function or even exist without them.

Releasing the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of Australia’s 2.3 million sporting volunteers, the Minister for Sport Peter Dutton said the efforts of unpaid sports volunteers was worth billions of dollars.

The study - Market Segmentation for Volunteers – commissioned by the Australian Sports Commission looked at why Australians become sporting volunteers.

In identifying the core attitudes, motivators, needs and barriers that underpin people’s decisions to volunteer in sport, the study reveals the characteristics of the army of people who make the largest contribution to shaping the national sporting landscape.

Mr Dutton said the study was an invaluable resource for sporting clubs and organisations to attract members and plan for future growth.

“There is not one person who has ever played sport in Australia who does not have a volunteer to thank for being given a chance to participate,” Mr Dutton said.

“It is a simple fact that sport in Australia would not exist without volunteers. There are more volunteers in sport than any other sector.

“Volunteers play a direct and hands on role in improving the health of our communities as well as creating opportunities for our next Laura Geitz, Michael Clarke or Tim Cahill.”

The study estimates that 23 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and over would consider volunteering in club sport in the next 12 months. Three in four of these, or just over 2.8 million people, could potentially be first time club sport volunteers.

Mr Dutton said organisations needed to ensure this first engagement was positive to encourage people to continue volunteering.

The study shows that nearly all club sport volunteers – 89 per cent – were satisfied with their experience, which presents a great opportunity for sports to capitalise on the volunteers’ enthusiasm and enhance their sport.

“Anything that helps sports and clubs understand how they can attract more volunteers, retain existing volunteers and keep volunteers interested and happy is crucial to support Australian sport and increased community activity levels,” Mr Dutton said.

For more information, visit the National Sport Research website.

For more information, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220

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