Volunteers make a huge contribution to the sport sector as a whole and play a vital role in sustaining the delivery of sport at all levels from grassroots participation to elite competition.
Through their tireless commitment, volunteers also gain much informal learning – particularly in generic transversal skills – which, if made visible, will be a powerful incentive to volunteer recruitment, easing transition into paid employment and addressing skills shortages more widely in the sector.
Within the V4V project, we are using the main elements of the volunteer concept in laws and regulations adopted by EU member states.
For the purposes of this project, it has been agreed that volunteering describes actions which:
are performed with the free will of the individual;
are developed in the framework of non-profit, non-governmental organisations;
are non-paid and carried out for for the benefit of the community or third party.
The overall goals of the transnational V4V initiative are:
to analyse the sport volunteer workforce;
to highlight realities and challenges around volunteering;
to improve recruitment and retention;
and, to create an innovative online tool which volunteers can use to showcase their skills and competencies to potential employers and education providers.
The V4V project targeted impacts will be to raise the profile of sport volunteers and the skills they gain, to increase volunteer recruitment and retention, and to smooth transition from voluntary to paid employment, thereby to address skill shortages.