Valley volunteers told to step up
SPORTING clubs in the Clarence Valley would “grind to a halt” without volunteers.
That’s the blunt assessment of the men and women assigned with putting up the nets, mowing the grass and running the canteen at your local sporting clubs.
With National Volunteer Week running until yesterday, an Examiner poll of 18 sporting clubs in the Valley – both junior and senior and men and women – found that while most helpers felt appreciated, they acknowledged a drain on resources would spell the end of their club.
All but one of the volunteers polled – rugby union’s former Grafton Redmen supremo Dave Morrison – believed their club would not survive without the aid of those who dedicate their time.
“A lot of the players chip in and do a lot of work,” Morrison said.
More than half thought extra volunteers were needed while those who felt they had enough said they could always use more.
“Without these kind of stalwarts who just keep turning up, our clubs would not survive,” said Grafton Cycle Club president Trevor Creighton.
“Australia would grind to a halt without volunteers. They really keep the country running.”
“Time” was not surprisingly the main factor in driving people away from volunteering at their local clubs.
Nine of the 18 clubs responded that way while the belief that “someone else will do it” also polled strongly.
It was an even split of males and females putting their hand up while the most common age for volunteers was 31-40 and 41-50 with 13 of the 18 clubs having helpers in those brackets.
The chance to “help youngsters” and having “pride in their sport” was the main reason why people volunteer.
Only Yamba Swimming Club president Kim Smith said she did not feel appreciated outside of her committee while most volunteers agreed that people were unaware of the time and effort that was involved.
NSW Minister for Volunteering Peter Primrose launched National Volunteer Week and the Volunteer of the Year Awards at Parliament House last Monday.
He said there were more than two million volunteers across NSW.
“Without these volunteers, we wouldn’t have most of the local level sporting, artistic, cultural and environmental activities that make NSW and Australia what it is,” he said.
Visit www.volunteering.com.au to nominate a volunteer for the awards.