Volunteers have always played a vital part in the sports and physical activity sector. Without them, most community sport and physical activity simply wouldn’t happen. The Government’s strategy for sport and physical activity, Sporting Future, is very clear on the benefits of volunteering to the individual and to the nation, and has encouraged Sport England to examine more closely the experience and benefits of volunteering.
Volunteers who give their time for sport and physical activity to happen in their community enjoy many of the benefits associated with actually participating in sport and physical activity. In some cases their experience fulfils all the government’s outcomes for sport: physical and mental well being, individual development, social and community development, and economic development. So when someone provides their time, energy and expertise as a volunteer there’s a double benefit – for those playing and for themselves.
Sport England’s vision is as relevant for volunteers as for those taking part. We want everyone in England regardless of age, background or level of ability to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. Some will be young, fit and talented, but most will not. We need a sport and physical activity sector that welcomes everyone – meets their needs, treats them as individuals and values them as customers.