Volunteering and sport
The Volunteers4Sport portal is an international web platform facilitating communication between organisers of sports events and young people willing to assist in staging them. The website is managed by the Volunteers for Sports foundation, which has operated for five years and established cooperation with more than 50 organisations and a few thousands of volunteers. The rules of the platform’s operations are quite simple; those looking for assistance can announce their needs on the portal. Registered users can select from a dozen to a few dozens of sports events, in which they can participate, and thereby plan their holidays or free time. And they are guaranteed to stay close to sports stars.
Authors of the portal are convinced that sports and volunteering cannot do without each other. It is difficult to imagine a sports event without the participation of volunteers who often perform the unrewarding task of providing security to fans and sportsmen. It is volunteers who ensure security almost everywhere during competitions, championships, Olympics and other contests, say the representatives of the foundation. On the website, the volunteers share their experiences. I have had great time, I have met many interesting people, I have seen the sports event from the inside, and what is most important my work has been useful. I am convinced that without our support the championship would not have been staged, Krzysztof Mikołajski, a volunteer during Eurobasket 2011 wrote on his blog.
What do you need to know to become a sports volunteer? First of all, you should be aware of the difference between volunteering and employment. Employees receive remuneration for their work, and volunteers must settle for a diploma and a handshake. An employment contract concluded with an employee is governed by the labour code. Volunteers work based on agreements, and matters not included there are governed by the civil code. Volunteering is not included in seniority and does not collide with employee rights. You can perform voluntary service during parental leave or when you are retired without the risk of losing your benefits.
When you decide to provide assistance during sports events, it is worth to select the ones you are truly interested in. You must also assess the time you have on your hands. If you do not have much time you should opt for short-term volunteering, i.e. assist during a one-off or a cyclical event held once in six or three months. Those who have more spare time can decide to become a long-term volunteer and cooperate with a sports organisation, club or company.
Founders of the Volunteers4Sport portal are positive: in the years to come sports volunteering will become one of the fastest growing field of voluntary service. In England, which is the world leader in the field,15% of the population are committed to voluntary service related to sports. There is no reason why Poland should not be on the same track.