Join In passes the volunteering baton onto the Sport and Recreation Alliance

Hello from Sport and Recreation Alliance

Welcome to Sport and Recreation Alliance. As we take hold of the reins, we want to highlight our plans for Join In and share what volunteering means to us.

Volunteering is at the heart of sport and recreation in this country. Just last weekend I saw this first hand, very clearly in athletics.

On Saturday morning I, like 100s of 1000s of others, took part in my local parkrun, set up and managed by friendly enthusiastic volunteers always ready with a clap and a cheer on the 5km route. Later on Saturday I had the privilege of attending the England Athletics Annual Awards and Hall of Fame evening. Whilst the room was full of many very well known athletes, past and present, it was the stories of the volunteers that stood out the most. People who had dedicated their lives – in one case more than 60 years – to their sport.

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What I experienced this weekend is replicated in every city, town and village across the country week on week. Every sport, however small or large, needs and depends on volunteers, which is the reason why we were delighted that Join In appointed us to take on the baton from them earlier this month.

Working with a group of like-minded partner organisations we have developed a shared vision for sport volunteering which will engage more people from a wider range of backgrounds and ensure that volunteering is accessible, fun and well run –by the club or event and training they provide, right through to the skills that volunteers can offer sport and activity groups.

Many people help out because they love watching or doing sport but as many of you already know, you don’t have to be sporty to be a sports volunteer.  It isn’t a requirement to get involved and shouldn’t be a barrier to participation.

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We are delighted that so many people and organisations who have been involved with Join In’s journey want to keep going. Thank you. We look forward to working with you, to finding and promoting volunteer opportunities, to helping sports bodies and clubs grow and to get the most out of their volunteers, and most importantly, to demonstrate the benefits to everyone that volunteering in sport can bring.

In the short term, we hope you will see that nothing is changing dramatically. The website and opportunity finder and the Join In social media will continue, we will keep talking to you and we want to hear about what you are doing.

We will be building on Join In’s existing research, making sure that more people know about it and can benefit from it – and we will also be planning new research for 2017. We’ll also be getting in touch with Local Leaders’ to find out how we can continue to best support you. We’ve got some fantastic opportunities in the pipeline and can link you up with some local partners who can help you to build stronger links within your sporting community.
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If you want to get in touch with us, you can do that by emailing us at joinin@sportandrecreation.org.uk. Everyone at the Sport and Recreation Alliance is super excited by the opportunity ahead – thank you again for coming on the next leg of the journey. I look forward to working with you all.

Emma Boggis

CEO, Sport and Recreation Alliance

Read more about Join In’s journey so far.

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