In October 2018, Sport England’s Active Lives survey reported that a total of 6.3 million adults had given their time at least twice in the last year to help make sport and activity happen. This is a huge contribution, with people giving their time in a range of different ways – from coaching and committee roles, to providing transport and marshalling at events.
Approximately 75% of these people volunteer in a local sports club, making clubs a key setting for Sport England’s volunteering strategy. However, with 75% of clubs reporting that they do not have enough volunteers to meet current operational demands, it is important that Sport England supports clubs to ensure that their new and existing volunteers have positive experiences, feel valued and want to continue giving their time.
Ensuring that your volunteers feel appreciated and recognised is essential in retaining them, and this can be achieved through activities such as awards evenings, club communications, or something as simple as saying thank you.
To increase our understanding of the current challenges and opportunities sports clubs face in relation to engaging and retaining volunteers, Sport England commissioned the Sport Industry Research Centre in 2018 to conduct a Sports Club Volunteering Survey, collecting data from key volunteers who run sports clubs. The executive summary and the full report can be accessed below and include lots more detailed insight and the key recommendations to come out of the research, including the skills and experiences required by clubs, capacity and capability gaps and challenges and methods to growing and retaining volunteers.