‘Sport Uniting Communities’ Volunteer Development Programme

‘Sport Uniting Communities’ Volunteer Development Programme

‘Sport Uniting Communities’, an EU Peace IV funded programme which aims to promote peace and reconciliation, recently delivered a Volunteer Development Programme to 91 volunteers from 45 rugby, football and GAA clubs.

The objective of the Volunteer Development Programme is to build capacity within clubs to help recruit, develop and retain volunteers across the three sports.

In Year 1, the ‘Sport Uniting Communities’ team delivered five training days in Belfast, Banbridge, Cookstown, Derry~Londonderry and Enniskillen, which focusing on the following subjects:
– Defining roles & responsibilities within Clubs
– Volunteer recruitment & retention (focus on marginalised groups)
– Succession planning for volunteers
– Becoming an inclusive club
– Volunteer Leadership/mentoring

The workshops were very interactive and encouraged clubs to develop partnerships across the sports. Group discussions allowed for each topic to be examined from a club perspective, giving the opportunity for shared learning. Participants got an insight into how small alterations to the everyday running of their club could lead to large gains on and off the field of play.

The main learning from the group was that sharing club roles and responsibilities would help prevent ‘burn out’, and allows for better structures to be put in place, thereby creating more sustainable clubs.

Participants also had the opportunity to create new roles using the job specification and description handouts.

The clubs exchanged contact information and are keen to hold shared events across the community as the emphasis on networking and the opportunity for shared learning was well received.

The clubs will receive a ‘Game of Three Halves’ equipment pack and visit the three governing body stadiums.

The overall feedback from the workshops was extremely positive. Participants reported that: “Working with others sports you normally have a bit of fear that you may lose players, this was in fact the opposite as I picked up fresh ideas and contacts.”

There was also a number of comments in relation to the amount of young people participating in the programme: “The amount of young people engaging is a good sign for sports clubs.”

Recruitment for Year 2 of the programme will begin in January. The programme will start with an initial training day for volunteers. Each club will commit two volunteers to attend the training day, with one being aged 16-24 years old. The places are offered on a first come, first served basis and you can secure your place by contacting the officer from your sport in your area. Please click here for details.

This project is supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Cooke RFC, Malone RFC, Harlequins RFC, Portadown RFC, Ballinahinch RFC, Queens RFC, Dungannon RFC, Rainey RFC, Monaghan RFC, Coleraine RFC, COD RFC, Letterkenny RFC, Omagh RFC, Enniskillen RFC, Clougher Valley RFC, Burt GAC, Doire Trasna GAC, Faughanvale GAC, Edeerney GAC, Tempo GAC, Maguiresbridge GAC, Teemoore, Shamroacks GAC, Bredagh GAC, St Galles GAC, Lamh Dhearg, St Marys, Strathroy Harps FV, Tummery FC, County Fermanagh Super Cup, Kickstart FC, Institute FC, 22nd Ladies FC, PSNI ladies FC, Crusaders FC, Glentoran FC, SOPFC, Tullyvallen Fc, Lurgan Celtic FC, Mid Ulster Ladies FC, Dromara Village, Dromore Amatuers, Banbridge Rangers.