Volunteers central to sport’s green and gold decade

Published on 16/05/2022

Australian sport will have to grow its pool of volunteers by 130,000 in the coming years to make the exciting decade of major events leading into Brisbane 2032 a success.

With National Volunteer Week getting underway today, Australian Sports Commission (ASC) CEO Kieren Perkins OAM has thanked sport volunteers across the country and called for more Australians to get involved.

“We are entering an unparalleled era in Australian sport with close to 30 major events already confirmed over the next decade including the 2026 Commonwealth Games and the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Mr Perkins said.

“From the grassroots level all the way to World Championships, volunteers are the heart of sport, and we thank them for their dedication and how that helps the community.

“Volunteers are essential to the smooth running of all events and the scale of what’s being held on our shores in the next decade will take a collective effort and leave a legacy for communities across the country.”

The majority of the 130,000 volunteers will be required for the Commonwealth, Olympic and Paralympic Games with thousands of volunteers also essential for upcoming world cups in a range of sports including basketball, football, rugby and netball.

Australia has almost six million volunteers who dedicate over 600 million hours to help others, with an estimated 2.9 million Australians donating their time in sport and physical activity each year.

“We’re incredibly lucky to have the largest volunteer base of any industry in Australia.”

“From the coaches to the committee members to those that assist with the equipment, sport would look very different without these important people. To those that volunteer across the sporting landscape, we thank you for the role you play in supporting sport at all levels. Your impact cannot be underestimated.”

Off the back of a challenging two years for community sport due to the pandemic, the ASC formed the Sport Volunteer Coalition earlier this year to shape the future of this invaluable cohort.

The coalition is made up on a diverse group of individuals from across the country that bring unique experiences and knowledge from a broad range of backgrounds in sport, government and volunteering.

“Our aim for the coalition, is to understand what motivates our volunteers, whatever their background, support their passion for volunteering and create fun opportunities for everyone to volunteer in sport in a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment,” coalition member and founder of the organisation Multicultural Women in Sport Molina Asthana added.

“Sport volunteering, especially for people of diverse backgrounds is such a great way of creating a sense of belonging, finding peer support, giving back to the community and being part of the sport ecosystem.”

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers. Held from 16-22 May, the theme for National Volunteer Week 2022 is Better Together, with the ASC celebrating, thanking and recognising the significant contribution our sport volunteers make across Australia.

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