So, you fancy volunteering for a local sports club? That’s fantastic news. There are clubs just waiting to welcome you (and the extra pair of hands!)
Maybe you want to give something back to your community? Perhaps you have some spare time and feel like you should be doing something worthwhile? The great thing about volunteering is that the benefits are often mutual.
By meeting new people, keeping busy, learning new skills, helping others and having a new sense of purpose, you can really improve your mood, confidence and self-esteem.
Where can I volunteer?
You can volunteer at sports clubs right across the country. Whether you live in a town or deep in the countryside, there will be volunteer opportunities in your area.
Where do I start?
Thinking of the following things through first will help you focus your search:
- Where do you want to volunteer?
- Have a think about where you want to volunteer and for what type of club or event.
- What skills do you have to offer?
- Think about the skills you can offer too. Perhaps you’ve got a head for figures or you’re handy on social media? Or you might just be happy to drive the club’s mini bus. Remember, clubs are always eager for good organisers – you don’t even have to be good at sport.
Find out what typical volunteer roles are available at a sports club.
- Who would you like to work with?
- Young children, teens, or older people?
- In or out?
- Would you prefer an indoor sport or are you craving fresh air?
- How far do you want to travel?
Where to find volunteer opportunities?
- Look around you
Check notice boards for clubs and activities in clubhouses, community centres, schools, libraries and even your local shop. Supermarkets often display posters too. Make a note of any useful contact numbers.
- Go online
Search online for clubs and volunteer activities in your area. Clubs often set up a Facebook group or page and a Twitter account, so send a message to reach a club admin. You could also quickly Google what sporting events are on near you - get in touch to find out if they could do with an extra pair of hands.
- Ask the experts
You can contact your Local Authority sport’s team for advice. Alternatively, head to Volunteering Wales where you can search online for volunteering opportunities in your area. They can put you in touch with your local volunteer centre too who can provide support.
- Contact the sport's National Governing Body
Have you chosen a sport that you’d like to volunteer with but don’t know/can’t find any clubs near you? The next step would be to contact that sport’s National Governing Body. They will be able to get you in touch with clubs that they know who are looking for new volunteers. Welsh Athletics have a simple form to fill to put you on their books for if an opportunity arises that might suit you.
- Face Time
If you can’t find a useful contact at the club, just pop along to their regular night and say hello. They are used to meeting new people and anyone who is offering to help out will be particularly welcome.