It is true that volunteers are at the heart of any sport throughout the Central West, and the same can be said for right here in Canowindra. And it is these volunteers that remain key to ensuring sporting clubs and organisations can get back on track following the impact of COVID-19.
Sport Australia’s latest AusPlay report has identified volunteering as the lifeblood for organised competition with an increasing number of opportunities identified, particularly for those with a disability, retirees, low-income households and people who speak a language other than English.
It found, almost three million Australians volunteer in sport, but additional support is needed to ensure organised competition returns stronger than ever following the impact of the pandemic.
The report also highlights the strong role sporting clubs play in rural and regional communities with volunteering more common outside of major cities despite having similar participation rates.
“Without volunteers, sport at the community level doesn’t exist,” Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton.
“As a nation, we’re incredibly fortunate to have 2.9 million Australians put up their hand to volunteer and we owe these people a great amount of gratitude for their time and energy.”
From the thousands of people that took part in the survey across Australia, the most common non-playing role is coaching followed by officiating. Team managers are more likely to be female while men more often take on coaching roles. Around 774,000 Australians also take on multiple roles. Roles also change as we age with our youngest volunteers almost always taking on the coaching or officiating duties, with administrator or committee member roles most popular in the 55 and over age group.