Volunteers are essential to the successful running of a sport or recreation club.

Volunteers are the community members that bring your club together, uphold your culture, and help your club to achieve success throughout the playing season. Your volunteers should be recognised and valued by all members, players, and non-members.

On this page

Finding volunteers

  • Get to know your community and your members.
  • Create position descriptions that state the role, responsibilities, skills, and time required per week.
  • Encourage new members and their family to become volunteers.
  • Advertise the positions via your communication channels, word of mouth, local volunteer resource centre and/or with your State Sporting Association.
  • Get creative with who to approach:
    • Grandparents in your community come with excellent experience and skills.
    • Older siblings who are students may be looking to upskill.
  • Ensure your club has a process for screening all volunteers and that new volunteers are aware of the club’s values and codes of conduct.
  • Put the right person in the right role, not just anyone.

Retaining volunteers

Retaining volunteers is key to the consistent and successful running of a club. If you are having trouble retaining volunteers, consider the following:

  • Understand why they are volunteering and tailor their volunteering around their needs.
  • Make volunteers recognisable (e.g. volunteer shirts, lanyards).
  • Use volunteer time sensibly and productively. Always have a clear outcome in mind when asking a volunteer for help so you don’t waste their time.
  • Create pathways for volunteers to move around or up in their role.
  • Provide them with the opportunity to upskill (e.g. let them know when your LG or SSA is hosting a workshop or course that might interest them).
  • Allow volunteers to socialise, connect and have fun.

Recognising volunteers

  • Say thank you for their work.
  • Profile volunteer’s personal and/or team achievements through your club’s communication channels.
  • Host an event or awards night during National Volunteer week in May.
  • Award Life Membership to volunteers who have contributed years of service.


If a task or job cannot be completed by yourself or you don’t have the specific skill set to get it done, then ask your volunteers for help.

  • Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks and jobs to other volunteers and/or members.
  • Pick the right person for the task.
  • Give exact details of the task and how it can be achieved/completed.
  • Set a timeframe for completion.
  • Ask for progress updates.

Succession planning

Sporting clubs need to create succession plans to ensure the future of their clubs. What plan does your club have in place if a key member of your committee steps down or moves on? Does their knowledge and experience leave with them? Where does that leave the club in the years to come?

These essential questions are the first ones to ask when developing a succession plan for the club. There are five key steps that clubs need to work through to identify gabs and make a plan:

  1. examine your club’s position
  2. identify skills required to fill specific roles
  3. assess current volunteer skills and identify potential successors
  4. prepare potential successors for their new role
  5. evaluate your club’s succession plan.

Having pathways for volunteers to upskill or be promoted is a great opportunity to keep volunteers engaged at your club. Position descriptions help to showcase the skills required for a certain position in your club and it allows potential volunteers to see if they match up to the skills required.

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