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Volunteers' time to shine

15 May 2023

Australians are being urged to celebrate, thank and recognise the significant contribution that the three million volunteers in sport make through National Volunteer Week.

Two women in bright yellow, red and black indigenous-themed cricket shirts
Golden Sisters Cricket Team members at the Imparja Cup 2023.

National Volunteer Week, Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers, kicks off today and runs until Sunday May 21.

The theme for National Volunteer Week 2023 is The Change Makers and is a celebration of the power to drive change and ensure volunteering is inclusive of all members of the Australian community.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) has put together a promotional toolkit to help sports celebrate and is encouraging everyone involved in sport to give 3 Cheers for Volunteers.

Passionate volunteer and Minister for Sport The Hon Anika Wells, who co-created the Chermside Parkrun event, paid tribute to volunteers as the heartbeat of Australian sport.

“Without volunteers, many sports simply wouldn’t exist.

“Volunteers play a vital role in communities and I’d like to thank them for the contribution they make so Australians enjoy the health and community benefits of sport.

“At its heart, sport volunteering is about helping others and it’s a great way to create a sense of belonging and to connect communities.”

In the past 12 months the ASC has worked actively to elevate the role of sport volunteers by:

ASC CEO Kieren Perkins OAM said volunteering is bouncing back following the significant impact COVID-19 had on the sector in recent years.

“Eight months after the launch of the Sport Volunteer Coalition Action Plan, we are seeing some positive growth in how the industry is engaging with this invaluable cohort.”

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have dealt with thousands of wonderful volunteers over the years and we must ensure we’re doing everything we can to attract and retain volunteers and ensure they reflect the diverse communities across Australia.”

Developed by the ASC and industry experts, the four-year plan outlines a new approach to foster positive, safe and fulfilling experiences for sport volunteers.

The Action Plan has broad support from the sport industry with 54 organisations committing their support and driving change in their communities through their actions, policies and programs.

Organisations can become an official supporter of the Sport Volunteer Coalition Action Plan here.

A person in a shark mascot costume on a sports field
Lynette Smith dons the Shredder the Shark mascot costume at East Fremantle Football Club.
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