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Frequently Asked Questions

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Volunteers

Below are a number of questions that are often asked about volunteering in athletics. If your question is not listed below, please email us on volunteer@uka.org.uk 

I am a volunteer…
How much time do I need to commit to volunteering?

There is no minimum or maximum time frame involved. It is a case of finding an opportunity that enables you to offer your skills, and fits in with your other commitments – even if you have a hectic schedule! One hour a month is as valuable as one hour a day. 

Do I have to volunteer for a specific period of time, e.g. a set number of weeks or months?

As a volunteer, you are under no obligation to volunteer for longer than you wish. It may be useful to discuss this with the organisation / individual you are working with when you first start to volunteer. 

What skills will I need to volunteer?

Many roles are available which use a variety of skills. Do not think that your expertise will not be required – somebody will be able to make use of it. Check out our list of possible volunteer roles and volunteer case studies for further information. 

Will I get paid?

In the majority of volunteering roles, it is unlikely that you will get paid. However, depending on the role and the organisation, you may receive expenses to cover costs, or receive benefits such as discounted event tickets or track fees. This depends on the organisation you are working with, and can be clarified by the Volunteer Coordinator. 

Can I volunteer if I have a disability?

There are a number opportunities for volunteers with disabilities. If you cannot find a suitable volunteering opportunity, please contact us. 

Are there any age limits for volunteers?

Age limits will differ between organisations. It may be that insurance restrictions preclude volunteers under 16 or 18 from certain activities. If this is the case, it is possible that there is an opportunity that is not subject to age restrictions – ask the Volunteer Coordinator for further details. 

How will volunteering benefit me?

Studies have indicated that volunteering can enhance confidence, help you make new friends, feel healthier and boost your career prospects, all as the result of doing something you enjoy and are good at! 

What roles are available to me?

A wide variety of roles are available, check out our list of possible volunteer roles and our Volunteer Activity Directory. 

Do I need experience in athletics to become a volunteer in the sport?

Whilst experience of athletics may help in some roles, it is not essential. If you can use your skills to support and develop the organisation within which you are volunteering, you will find that your contribution is recognised accordingly. 

Is there support available to develop volunteering within our organisation?

Yes! There are a number of opportunities to access funding to support your work with volunteers. Visit the Information, resources and advice page for further information. 

What benefits can our organisation get from working with volunteers?

Recruiting volunteers can provide your organisation with a wide array of new skills, which can enhance the quality of athletics within your community. It can also assist in developing new links with key groups in the community, as well as increasing the effectiveness of the administration and organisation of your organisation. 

How can we recruit volunteers?

There are a number of ways in which your organisation can recruit new volunteers. Further information can be found by clicking here. 

How do we manage volunteers working within our organisation?

Many athletics clubs have identified somebody to fulfil the role of Volunteer Coordinator. Details of this role can be found within the Volunteer Strategy.

Where can we recruit volunteers?

Volunteers can be drawn from a variety of sources, including Further and Higher Education establishments, existing club members, family and friends of club members and volunteer placement agencies. This is not an exhaustive list – be creative and recruit from as many groups as possible – don’t miss out on the skills that you need! 

Should volunteers be restricted to one role?

No - Volunteers can move from role to role, depending on their interests and skills. It is important to offer a volunteer opportunity to progress and increase their skills. It may also be possible for an individual to fulfil more than one role at once – however, be aware of giving a volunteer too much to do.  

How long should we expect individuals to volunteer for?

It is important to bear in mind that volunteers are giving up their time to support the activities of your organisation. They shouldn’t be expected to commit to a role for a substantial length of time, or for a significant number of hours per week. It is probably best to discuss the commitment that the individual wishes to make when they start to volunteer with you. This will reduce the possibility of confusion, and allow for you to plan effectively. 

How do we motivate volunteers?

Many athletics clubs look to maintain motivation through a volunteer recognition and reward programme. This may include offering discounted club kit, tickets to events, cheap track fees, or simply acknowledging their help with a thank you card. This can prove extremely effective in ensuring the volunteers within your organisation feel valued.