October 2020

Joondalup Netball Association

What we did

Joondalup Netball Association created a new Volunteer Initiative with the purpose to encourage involvement, connect members, recognise and promote volunteers within our Association.

We met with a local business person regarding sponsorship. We discussed ways in which we could give back to members, whilst in turn supporting small business. An agreement was reached and certificates and vouchers were then created that could be presented to volunteers.

Each Association game day, the Association President and Vice President attended the courts to meet, greet and thank volunteers during the different time slots. Volunteers included coaches, assistant coaches, team managers, umpires, scorers, timers, first aiders, parents assisting and club officials. All volunteers selected were presented with a certificate and complimentary voucher for a hot drink from the local coffee van. Upon presentation, volunteers had their photo taken with an Association official, their team or player.

The initiative and photos was promoted on our social media pages, through Association Clubs and local sponsor.

The initiative was designed April 2020 and commenced 27 June 2020 when our netball season began. At the completion of our winter competition in September, we will have officially acknowledged approximately 75 volunteers and presented them certificates and vouchers.

We were fortunate to have been supported by a local business person who printed certificates and assisted toward the cost of vouchers for volunteers. Due to the positive buzz surrounding the initiative this partnership will continue into the next netball season.

The long term benefit of the initiative for the community is regular, happy volunteers who become more active, confident members within the community.

Why we did it

Our Association is built upon a culture of inclusion and community spirit. We encourage active participation with a belief that each individual has a valuable contribution to make to the Association, whether as player, official or spectator.

Our Volunteer Initiative was developed to recognise and give back to volunteers who provide time and passion each week. In addition, to assist with volunteer retention and numbers.

Volunteers are the life blood of junior sport and at times it can be challenging to find and retain volunteers. We wanted to connect with members (and wider community) during the difficult COVID-19 period, as well as letting the community know we value volunteer time and assistance.

Whether a member volunteers as coach, umpire, at the local sausage sizzle or even as a regular spectator to games, we want everyone to feel welcome and valued. When members enjoy what they do, what we do, word spreads fast!

We recognise the huge role sporting associations play in junior sport, so want our members to have positive experiences. We want volunteers to feel valued, appreciated and connected to the Association.

Whilst initially created to encourage positivity and appreciation during Covid-19, the initiative is one that will continue.

How we know it worked

Whilst this a new initiative for 2020, feedback from members (including clubs, volunteers) has been overwhelmingly positive.

We’ve received regular feedback at the courts from members that they’re loving seeing volunteers being acknowledged. When the President and Vice President present the certificate and voucher to volunteers, it’s not uncommon for teams of players to be excited and cheering for their team volunteer.

A weekly register of participant involvement has been retained. Volunteers officially acknowledged have been recognised on our Association social media pages. From monitoring social media, we’ve noted a rise in the amount of people that follow and watch our Association (one month being a 30% increase in social media followers). In addition, we have clubs sharing our good will and volunteer news. The news has spread further within in the community with another Association advising they will be looking at implementing the initiative.