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The future of sport volunteering

Volunteering plays a critical role in sport and we are dependent on volunteers to keep our community clubs open and our players playing.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) recognises the significant value of sport volunteers but also the challenges we face in creating the best volunteer experience.

To better understand the opportunities for the future of sport volunteering, the ASC worked with partners from across the sport and volunteering sectors and drew upon the ‘Future of Sport Volunteering’ insights report to develop a vision for sport volunteering.

Sport Volunteering National Plan

Vision for the future of sport volunteering

Realising the vision requires a change in how we think about the volunteer experience.

Five elements have been identified that should underpin all volunteer experiences and are agnostic to the sport, club, role or individual. These have been developed and iterated based on discussions with stakeholders.

“People from all walks of life see and realise opportunities to contribute to individual, club and community goals in a way that suits them”

The five elements are:

Make it feel like I belong

Make it easy to get involved

Tailor roles to my needs

Support me

Create value for me, the club, and the community

The ASC’s role

The Sport Volunteering National Plan outlines the ASC’s role in leading and supporting sport to navigate the evolving volunteer landscape. The impact of the national plan will be assessed annually over an initial four-year period.

We will leverage our position to connect the sector and drive collaboration to deliver the sport volunteering Vision
Strong network
Connecting sport and volunteering peak bodies to form an effective coalition

Sector collaboration
Create operational efficiencies across the coalition
Coalition Plan
Implement a four year Coalition Plan

We will activate the best products and services that enable the sport volunteering Vision
Internal capability
Align current enablers to support volunteering e.g Game Plan, Sport Learning Centre,
Strategic communications
Create compelling content to promote the value of sport volunteering
Learning and development
Consolidate existing sector resources and increase visibility/access

Four year plan

Iterative approach to sport volunteering growth

2021/22: ORGANISE
  • Establish sport volunteer coalition;
  • Determine collaboration opportunities;
  • Develop Coalition Plan.
  • Align Sport Aus services and products;
  • Develop compelling visual content;
  • Consolidate sector tools and resources.

Sector is connected and stakeholders have clarity on roles and responsibilities to deliver the Coalition Plan

2022/23: AMPLIFY
  • Embed Coalition Plan;
  • Implement strategic communications support to amplify visibility of the Coalition Plan;
  • Evaluate alignment of Sport Aus products and services;
  • Consolidate volunteer measurement data.

Coalition Plan is implemented and clearly communicated to the Sector

2023/24: EVALUATE
  • Evaluate Coalition Plan impact;
  • Confirm the operational gaps and opportunities for the Coalition Plan;
  • Confirm ongoing suitability of products and services.

Coalition Plan is functional but adapted to reflect the sector requirements

2024/25: RESET
  • Baseline Coalition Plan performance data to assess impact;
  • Confirm ongoing volunteering measurement metrics;
  • Assess suitability of Coalition Plan;
  • Confirm direction of sport volunteering role for Sport Aus.

Clarity on performance/impact of Coalition Plan – data to inform future direction

Further resources

Clearinghouse for Sport
Knowledge topic - Volunteers in sport
A range of expert evaluated information resources covering good and promising practice to support evidence-based decision making.
AusPlay focus report - Volunteering in sport
This report provides an overview of volunteering in Australian sport. It examines how many volunteers we have, what their demographic profile is, which roles are most common, the sports that attract the most volunteers and where the opportunities lie to increase the number of Australians becoming involved in sport volunteering.

For more information

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