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Global Applause - Give volunteers a hand

Volunteers are an intricate part of the sport and physical activity sector, often giving up their free time to make sure an activity or a sporting session runs smoothly.

In fact 74% of coaches, and 84% of disabled coaches are volunteers, and on average will coach four hours per week, with 14% of volunteers coaching for more than 10 hours per week.

To put it simply: without volunteers, most sporting activities wouldn’t happen.

But surprisingly volunteer coaches also give up nearly a quarter of their time to the administration and travel that comes with coaching – often without recognition.

So why do people volunteer?

Sports Coach UK have long championed the benefits of volunteering in sport and physical activity and our recent Social Return on Investment research conducted in Tyneside showed the types of benefits volunteer coaches’ experience, such as increases in self-esteem and more positive aspirations about their futures, as well as enhanced career prospects. In the same breadth our Coaching Can campaign aims to inform the whole nation about the wider benefits of coaching, especially for physical and mental wellbeing, as well as individual, social and economic development.

Sport England have also addressed the assumption that volunteering is solely for the benefit of others – “Whether it's marshalling a fun run, managing money, driving people from A to B (and back) or even washing the muddy kit on a Sunday afternoon, it’s always been those taking part that everyone focuses on” – with their new strategy ‘Volunteering in an Active Nation’, which focusses on the dual benefit of volunteering; putting the “…experience of the volunteer and increased diversity at the heart of efforts to support volunteers.”

Designated by the United Nations in 1985, International Volunteer Day (IVD), on December 5th, is an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteerism and an opportunity for volunteers, and volunteer organisations, to raise awareness of, and gain recognition for, the contribution they make to their communities. This year’s IVD theme is #GlobalApplause – giving volunteers a hand, recognises volunteers worldwide and all they do in making peace and sustainable development a reality.

Therefore it is fitting for us to remember and applause the fantastic contribution volunteers make to sports clubs and organisations, from grassroots to elite, up and down the country.

If you would like to experience the dual-benefits of volunteering, get involved here - Getting Started

Reach into coaching

Are you a woman and interested in coaching? Head over to reachintocoaching.co.uk – our national brand that supports more women into coaching and backed by sports organisations across the UK.


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