I’m new to working with sports volunteers. What do I need to know?

If you’re new to supporting sports volunteers, whether you’re a volunteer yourself or are paid for your work, then there are a few basics you should be aware of. As a minimum you should know a bit about the law in relation to volunteering, what the rights and responsibilities of volunteers are, and what your organisation’s rights and responsibilities are in relation to them. Our legal and safety section should help you here. We don’t provide legal advice, so if you have a specific issue you should seek this out. But our site will tell you about some of the things you need to be mindful of.

Beyond this, it’s all about you getting the most from your volunteers and them getting the most out of their volunteering. There are few hard and fast rules about how to support volunteers but there is a wealth of best practice out there, both within sport and beyond it. We aim to tell you about some of it so that you can use it in your own club or group.

A good place to start if you’re new to volunteer management is to think about the volunteer journey from a volunteer’s first contact with your club, group or event through to their last day with you, and how you can support them at each stage.

Once you’ve recruited a volunteer, all your work with them should support the goal of retaining them, provided their involvement is useful. The support you offer may include things like induction, training, mentoring, regular communication, and thanks and recognition for the help that they give you. You should also think about how you ensure all volunteers receive fair and equal treatment, which means you may want to put some standard policies and procedures in place. Skilled, enthusiastic and committed volunteers are a real asset to your club and so it’s worth thinking about how to ensure they keep coming back to help you.

See the following links for more information:

Sport England – Health and Safety section