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Empowering sport volunteers

02 July 2024

A resource hub, a webinar series, a nation-wide recognition campaign and a prestigious award are some of the headline achievements recognised in the Sport Volunteer Coalition’s annual report, released this week.

Three volunteers standing in a stadium with a 'FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 sign below them
Sports volunteers at the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2023

The report outlines the progress the Coalition has made, in partnership with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), since launching its Action Plan in 2022.

The four-year plan seeks to enable more Australians to volunteer in sport and enhance the sport volunteering experience. At the halfway mark, the Coalition reflected on the impact of their work across the sport sector.  

Coalition Chair, and Director of Sport Programs at the ASC, Dr Lindsey Reece was buoyed by the endorsement the Coalition has garnered from across government and community level sport, exemplified by initiatives like the release of the Northern Territory Volunteer Plan.

“When we started the Sport Volunteer Coalition it was all around increasing the visibility and value of our volunteers throughout sport,” Dr Reece said.

“As we wrap up Year 2, for me, it's seeing the alignment strategically across government. But critically, we're also seeing organisations really get behind the Plan and prioritise volunteers at the front and centre of their work.”

Year 2 activities focused on empowering sport organisations and volunteers to achieve the vision that ‘People from all walks of life see and realise opportunities to contribute to individual, club and community goals in a way that suits them’.

A significant achievement was the implementation of the Sport Volunteer Resource Hub (the Resource Hub), a one-stop shop of tools and insights on how to recruit, retain and ensure positive experiences for sport volunteers.

Showcasing the Resource Hub through case studies and the In Focus webinar series, co-hosted with Volunteering Australia, has enabled the sector to realise the value of these resources in supporting sport volunteers.

The ASC and the Sport Volunteer Coalition share their highlights and key achievements.

As the Coalition enters its third year, it bids farewell to members, Molina Asthana and Scott Tutton. The ASC and the Coalition thank them for their tireless advocacy for sport volunteering. Reflecting on the journey of the Coalition, Scott spoke on the lasting impact he hopes it will have on Australian sport.

“Participation or involvement in sport is about both play and the off-field roles that make sport possible,” Tutton said.

“Hopefully the legacy of the Coalition is an understanding of that, a recognition of that and a celebration of that.”

Importantly, the Coalition also welcomes four new members, Jason Russell-Jones from Rugby Australia, DJ Cronin from Uniting Care Queensland, Dr Aish Ravi, founder of the Women’s Coaching Association and Marcus Rosas from the Kalano Community Association, into its ranks as it looks to carry the momentum into 2024-25.

“The important thing for the Coalition moving forward is to keep building on its success. I really want to make sure we continue to support the game and continue to put our volunteers up in lights,” Russell-Jones said.

In 2024-25, the Coalition will continue empowering sport volunteers, building resources to foster positive experiences and reimagining the sport volunteering ecosystem.

Download the Sport Volunteer Coalition Year Two Report 2023-24 here.

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