Volunteers in clubs and at events are the heartbeat of the sport. Without them, the sport would not be able to function and provide so much enjoyment to thousands of people of all ages throughout the year across the country. Orienteering is in a unique position as one of few sports with such a diverse age range of people involved at events as participants and volunteers.
Our challenge is to ensure that more people of all ages become club volunteers, by raising awareness and challenging perceptions of what’s involved and supporting easier routes into becoming more involved in the clubs.
Within clubs, data shows that on average every volunteer committee member takes on the duties of two positions, whilst the average age of a committee member is over 58. Essentially this demonstrates a shortage of people involved as committee members. The challenge is to utilise these dedicated and experienced volunteers to train and encourage more people to be involved, relieving some pressures within clubs.
Building on the 2014 volunteer report, British Orienteering wishes to evolve a strategy ensuring the previous report remains relevant and appropriate to today’s volunteers. With the aim to increase the numbers volunteering in clubs whilst improving the perception and understanding of just what’s involved. What would make volunteering more appealing and enjoyable? What challenges have volunteers faced? How were they overcome? How can we work together to highlight and share best practice?
The new strategy is intended to deliver a more balanced and integrated volunteer approach, with clear networks and above all, oversee an increase in those involved. No doubt across the country there is so much great work and ideas going on, that we want to discover, recognise and above all share in order to deliver a consistently excellent experience in the sport.
Please have your say on the British Orienteering members forum (log into the member's section on the British Orienteering website using your membership details) or send your input by e-mail by 31 January 2018 to the British Orienteering development lead for volunteering: Peter Brooke firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Linda Cairns