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SPORT VOLUNTEERING


INSPIRING A NEW GENERATION OF VOLUNTEERS


As London gears up to stage the biggest sporting show on earth, the importance of volunteers in British sport is under the spotlight. We look at some of the current programmes and opportunities in place to engage a new influx of volunteers


A


ccording to SkillsActive, the sector skills council for the ac- tive leisure sector, there are around 5.8 million volun-


teers operating across the UK and sport is the largest single sector, accounting for around 28 per cent of all volunteer- ing carried out. In Sport England’s latest Active People Survey (APS) 2010/2011, it was revealed that three million adults (3,078,900) contribute at least one hour a week to volunteering in sport. Over the four years leading up to the


London Olympic and Paralympic Games, UK Sport is on track to have delivered


more than 80 major international sport- ing events, giving a terrific platform to up-skill our sporting volunteer work- force. Indeed, UK Sport is now looking far beyond London 2012, to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, 2014 Ryder Cup, 2015 Rugby Union World Cup and the 2017 World Athletics Championships. A large number of programmes are


targeting both young people and adults, as a way back into work or to undertake a new qualification. SkillsActive leads the development of the volunteer workforce and actively seeks ways to promote vol- unteering across the sector.


The London 2012 effect Managed by SkillsActive, Personal Best was the London Olympic and Para- lympic legacy programme designed to offer unemployed and disadvantaged people the opportunity to gain a Level 1 qualification in Preparation for Event Volunteering. Launched in 2007, it har- nessed the unique motivating force of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralym- pic Games to engage socially-excluded people and lift their aspirations and cre- ate new life choices. The promise was that every Personal Best graduate would be given the opportunity to apply to be- come a London 2012 Games Maker. The programme was gradually rolled


Volleyball England is expanding its team of Higher Education volunteers


out across the English regions and Scot- land with a 10-week programme after the initial pilot in London in 2009. The results speak for themselves with 4,462 people achieving a Level 1 Award in Prep- aration for Event Volunteering at the end of 2010. 976 of those graduates found employment or have gone into further


40 Read Sports Management online sportsmanagement.co.uk/digital


England Hockey’s team of ‘Hockey Makers’ lies at the core of making the Hockey Nation initiative a success


training and overall they have delivered more than 101,000 volunteering hours. SkillsActive managed the volunteer


development programme for WorldSkills London 2011 on the back of the success of Personal Best. More than 300 individu- als across the six London host boroughs enrolled on the programme and deliv- ered around 5,600 hours of volunteering. WorldSkills competitions, held every two years, sets world-class standards in 45 skill categories and gave London the unique opportunity to showcase and cel- ebrate vocational skills across the UK. Glasgow was chosen as the pilot city


for Personal Best Scotland with the over- arching aim of reducing unemployment in the city through sport with the catalyst of the London 2012 Olympic/Paralympic Games and 2014 Commonwealth Games. The pilot programme allowed 150 people to undertake wide-ranging employability activities, a national vocational qualifica- tion and a volunteering opportunity, to assist their progression into employment or further training. The Personal Best pilot in Glasgow


was effective in engaging the tradition- ally hard to reach long-term unemployed male client group, with 75 per cent of the participants falling into the long-term unemployed category. The results exceeded all expectations


with an overall 47 per cent of graduates entering employment (the target was 40 per cent) and an impressive 85 per cent now engaged in further volunteer- ing (the target was 80 per cent). The biggest barrier to the Personal Best roll out in Scotland now is how to fund the programme.


Issue 2 2012 © cybertrek 2012


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