Volunteering and Sport in a WA Context: A Preparatory Exploration

Discussion Paper


New Models of Volunteering


Dr Dianne Costello, Professor Marian Tye



The report presents findings from an exploratory study of the current status of volunteering and sport in WA. To better inform policy and decision making related to sport volunteering, the findings point to a need for on-the-ground, WA context specific (including geographic) insights. The study concluded that both the Australian National Volunteering Strategy 2012 and the draft National Sport Volunteering Strategy 2012 reflect an organizational management approach to volunteering and do not necessarily capture the ground level issues and complexity of challenges facing the more informal community sports volunteering environment. Significantly, these national volunteering strategies are aimed at addressing the higher level issues of the more formally structured and elite level sporting groups and organizations located in densely populated towns and cities. Previously unidentified issues with critical impact on sports volunteering include: the ineffectiveness of marketing strategies and engagement of sophisticated e-technology; FIFO as a major threat to sports volunteering and social sustainability of communities; the absence of policy support in lower SES areas dealing with the needs of culturally diverse players; and, dealing with overly ambitious and controlling parents in higher SES areas. A significant finding was that it is vital to include children, as players and key recipients of volunteering, in volunteer recruitment strategies, particularly children in need of positive role models.

How to cite:

Costello, D., and M. Tye. Volunteering and Sport in a WA Context: A Preparatory Exploration. A discussion paper for the Department of Sport and Recreation WA, Perth, January 2012.