Volunteering In Sports Social Work Essay

Volunteering In Sports Social Work Essay

This literature review focuses on sports volunteering as part of an investigation into the successfulness of leadership academies By critically examining existing research and related literature this review aims to draw up key issues and identify gaps in the current volunteering system The scope of the searches for relevant literature was restricted to material dated from 1990 onwards with to enable the literature review to concentrate on the most recent information Literature was sourced through databases and websites linked to volunteering sport active citizenship and leadership As such this literature review draws on a variety of subjects which will be identified throughout the review This paper reviews key literature focusing on the need for continued involvement in leadership and volunteer opportunities within the school and community context

Introduction

It is a cherished belief within physical activity and sport communities that participation in leadership and volunteering has the potential to offer young people a range of physical psychological and social benefits whilst also as a provider of sporting opportunities and in the development of sport from increasing participation through to supporting excellence and elite performance More recently in the UK this belief has become prominent in government policies are seeking to engage young people in order to inspire individuals and even though the London 2012 Olympic Games is 3 years away strong planning for volunteering is being put in place as the aspect of major events that has the potential to contribute to social regeneration and the strengthening of social capital

The phrase volunteering is the lifeblood of English sport is often used in todays sporting society With it being well recognised that volunteers provide the core support for sport in the United Kingdom and without the 2 million adult volunteers who contribute at least one hour a week to volunteering in sport community sport would simply grind to a halt Sports Council 1996 The research commissioned by Sport England 2003 and carried out by the Leisure Industries Research Centre provided the hard evidence to support this contention It demonstrates the breadth and depth of support given by people across the country who provide their time and rarely look for any reward beyond the personal satisfaction they get from the opportunities they provide for others to participate and achieve in sport Volunteers also play an incredible role in staging some of Englands most prestigious sporting events Volunteering in the UK has a long and established history Ockenden 2007 and without its volunteer workforce events simply wouldnt happen Such reliance on volunteers in UK sport lead to the production of the government strategy A Sporting Future for All The policy has a major focus on ensures that volunteers get adequate training support and strategic management DCMS 2000

Defining volunteering

As suggested by Cluskey et al 2006 defining volunteering is something that on the surface appears to be relatively simple but in reality it is actually quite complex Many researchers have stated that the term volunteering is vague covering different activities and participation at all levels of society with volunteering traditions being affected by cultural and political contexts Salamon Anheier 1997 Lukka Ellis 2002 United Nations 2001 Although the word volunteer may seem to have a common shared meaning there is not universal consensus about the meaning of the term It should be highlighted that there is no single meaning of volunteering or of a what volunteer is Volunteering England 2008

Davis Smith 2000 and Nichols 2004 highlight four characteristics of volunteering within a UK context

That it should be undertaken for no financial gain

That it should be undertaken in an environment of genuine freewill

That there are identifiable beneficiaries or a beneficiary

That there can be formal and informal types

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