Do you have skills in a particular area, for example, marketing, fundraising, PR or governance? Are you willing to provide a short burst of support to a Sported member over the phone or email? If so, there is a way that you can apply your experience to members anywhere in the UK.
I’ve been a Sported volunteer since 2011 and have been privileged to offer mentoring support to a wide variety of grassroots sports groups in my area (the Midlands).
Due to a change in circumstances, I was no longer able to work as a face-to-face Sported volunteer mentor, so I welcomed the opportunity to become a Sported Light Touch volunteer in January 2017. This entails providing remote support to meet a group’s specific need and is a short intervention – only six hours of support, usually over a couple of weeks based on a specified requirement.
As I work in advertising and marketing in my day job, I apply these skills by providing a proposal to help groups to tackle issues they are facing in promoting or growing participation in their sport or activity. The proposed ideas for social media, PR, advertising, posters, banners, website development, events and community engagement are then taken on board and delivered by the group.
Those who run the groups are, without exception, passionate and committed people, so it’s such a rewarding experience to be able to help them in their marketing efforts. Although each organisation has its own challenges, there are a number of common themes e.g. recruiting new participants, attracting funding and engaging with new audiences.
So far as a Sported Light Touch volunteer I have provided suggestions to Angling United to promote the many benefits of angling to new audiences such as young women and those with mental health issues, encouraged Durham Community Boxing Club to widen its reach and advised Improving Lives in Plymouth on how to package their ‘Active for All’ services to promote commercially. Other projects have included a plan on how to attract younger members to Northumbria Vikings Cycle Speedway Club and Windsor Judo, how to launch new sports facilities for youth organisation TETH and how to encourage football players to join a more structured environment for Leisure Leagues NI.
For me it’s been fantastic to learn about a variety of sports and play a small part in stimulating ideas to help the group leaders to use marketing techniques to grow their attendance and reach new audiences. Although I am proud to be a Sported volunteer, the real champions are those who dedicate their (considerable) time and efforts to boosting sports participation within their communities.
If you are interested in becoming a Sported volunteer, please click HERE for further information.