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The Importance of Voluntary Participation in Sports Management

Outline the various motivations for volunteering in international sport and document the problem of declining involvement in community sport volunteering and implications for volunteer management. As a final personal statemen comment on the issues you face in your decision of whether to make a volunteer contribution within sport.

In today’s world the requirement of voluntary participations in sports management is undoubted. The volunteers in sports management are the chief source as their proactive participation ensures the survival or the sustenance of the sports events in many ways. Thus, naturally the majority of the sports organizations depend on the volunteer services to ensure that the sports events get over without a hitch. The management of the sports organizations needs to keep in mind the fact that, only adequate level of motivation and satisfaction can bring these volunteers to further participate in sports events. Various studies regarding this field indicates that in recent years there have been a major decrease in the participations of the volunteers in sports events in the measure of ‘volunteer hours per individual’. The current situation can bring in some major changes in the management of voluntary sports organizations and also become beneficial for the community of the volunteers (Nichols & Ojala, 2009). There are multiple factors of motivation that can potentially inspire the individuals to volunteer in international community sports. These types and factors of motivations is highlighted in various researches.

The main purpose of this report is to identify and explain the factors of motivation of the volunteers related to sports management. This report also sheds light on the issues of the decreasing involvement in the community sports volunteering. Apart from these factors, this report also highlights the implications of decreasing participation in sports community regarding the management of the volunteers.

There have been various studies regarding this issue, to understand and analyze the level of motivation among the volunteers working in the field of sports from the 60s era of the last century. These theories involve ideas like social exchange theory, functional perspective of volunteerism and co-production theory.

According to the theory of social exchange a volunteer is the individual who would have to provide his or her knowledge, time and labor in accordance of the performance of an act that is unpaid regarding a particular sports event (Lasby & Sperling, 2007). The volunteers may work individually or they can work as an individual. Thus it can be said that volunteerism is a sort of social behavior that involves an interaction among the various individuals, like the representatives of the organizations and the volunteers. Interaction is the exchange of the materials and ideas between two individuals and cohesiveness might be defined as the idea that motivates the individuals to get involved in a group of volunteers. Though from the sports events the volunteers would not get any monetary reward for their efforts and nor they can expect any material rewards lie clothes, meals or any useful social interactions.

A major development in the reward-cost situation among the volunteers and the agencies can be seen and award in the relationship is something that can be achieved by interacting with other individuals. These awards are tangible goods or getting to meet new individuals. On the other hand, the negative outcome of the relationship can be said is the cost for instance the time required to comply with a duty (Hoye et al., 2008). If voluntary is made to work for 8 hours in a sports event, the volunteer might think that the shift time is too lengthy on the basis of the exchange ratio and they might not show interest to get involved in sports events in future. The reward cost ratio can take place by the exchange among the parties and thus the social exchange can be attributed as a kind of interaction that can focus on what the volunteers would gain from  a relationship and what they efforts they have put in, in the relationship. The basic notion of social exchange plays an important role in gathering the volunteers at a primary stage and also ensures that the volunteers would take part in future.

Factors of Motivation for Volunteers

Co-production theory can be explained direct beneficiaries of the services as a basic effort that is provided by the people to go through with an assignment. The idea can be accepted as an active participation of the general public and the direct beneficiaries. There are three types of co operational activities and those are collective, individual and group activities. With respect to volunteerism in sports management, a group production involves the active voluntary participation by the citizens (Lasby & Sperling, 2007). Three most probable reasons will be provided by the co-production theory as to the reason behind individual’s voluntary participation in the sports events. Initially it can be said that there is the mental assertiveness of the individual is the most important thing; like the person interested or not. The second cause hails from the level of curiosity of the volunteers to work in a sports event. The final reason is the level of motivation present in the individuals as motivation can assist an individual towards ensuring the success of the sports event.


Functional perspective of the volunteerism is another theory in this regard. This particular approach helps to understand the psychological and social targets and needs with the plans and motives; which the volunteers will try to achieve by their behavior and beliefs.  Apart from that, it can be said that for different individuals a belief or behavior can serve various psychological functions (Hoye Et al., 2008). The management of the volunteer groups along with the non-profit associations along with their motivation by the usage of functional approach can be examined by the research scholar.

In this approach, it can be determined whether the individuals are directed by targets and actively participate, or they want to satisfy their own goals and requirements. Thus, the individuals might participate into the likewise voluntary activities while taking part in different organizations to attain similar types of motivation. Using the functional perspectives of volunteerism, various factors regarding taking part by the individuals can be explained. There are various motives behind a volunteer’s wish to actively participate in any sports events. On the contrary it can be said that taking part in different events can also satisfy one specific motive of the volunteer (Gumulka, 2005). Through these factors the basic importance of multi-motivational nature of volunteering is focused. This particular approach stresses on the differences in the motives that underline the behavior of the volunteers. Various actions can be performed by different individuals and search action can satisfy individual’s psychological functions.

There is a major dependency regarding the assistance provided by the volunteers regarding managing sports events globally (Taylor et al., 2003). When the individuals volunteer in a global sports event, it is seen that the chief reason behind it is the individual’s need to represent and participate to support the national team and apart from that the exposure to meet new people can be considered as another key point. In these cases, the other reasons might be to get the chance to travel, improving the image of the country and building a community spirit. There were various other reasons that involves improving the skills of the volunteers regarding managing the sports events and achieving the access to the free tickets and enhancing contacts for developing the career.

Social Exchange Theory

It is seen that the desire of the volunteers is to be able to provide support to make sure that the sports events get successful (Breuer & Wicker, 2007). The success of the events will determine how effectively volunteering provided by the individuals made the event successful. The reason behind motivating individuals to volunteer in a sports event is to make society a better place. It is a fact that in most cases the volunteers took part because they intended to participate for something that is worthwhile. 


It has been highlighted that there are seven factors regarding motivation that addresses why individuals intend to volunteer in international sports events. Helping oout the community members and achieving a spot in the team was the chief reason behind the participation of an individual, but various opportunities and challenges that are offered to the individuals regarding the development o the self are becoming the major causes (Cuskelly, 2004). The ability to create business contacts are also one of the deciding factors behind the people’s participation in sports events. At times, individuals take part in sports events as volunteers to get rid of boredom and from the thirst to do something unique and worthwhile. Looking at the success of the events while working for it can also become a major matter of motivation for the individuals. Apart from these, the excitement towards participating in an international event can also be said as a major force of motivation for the individuals.

In today’s world, a major issue that has been identified in sports events is the major decrease in the volunteer participations in the sports events. In most cases the volunteers run the community sports events regardless of the government policies regarding sports events along with the professionalization of sports and the funding programs (Gumulka, 2005). Various governments are nowadays taking up steps to support and encourage individuals to acknowledge the issues and to proactively participate in these events.

The rise of the complexities in the sports systems, conflict between the individuals, dispowerment of the volunteers along with the paid staff and deficit of understanding regarding the motivation of the volunteers regarding participating in sports events will manifest the issues of decreasing participation of the volunteers. There are some major complexities in this situation and those are bringing in so adverse situations for the volunteers that they are not being able to commit their whole to develop skills and find the required time to operate the modern sports events (Doherty, 2005).  The increase in the level of responsibility and accountability under the shed of a legal system is the load on the individuals that is aggravating the issues of decrease in participation by the individuals.

The recruitment of more paid staffs by the managements of the sports associations results in various conflicts between the paid staffs and the individuals who intended to volunteer; this majorly discourages the individuals to participate as volunteers in sports events (Ringuet-Riot, Cuskelly, Auld & Zakus, 2014). These things arises due to difference of opinions, difference in motives, values and expectations between an individual who wants to work as a volunteer and the hired staffs by the associations. Nowadays the volunteers are made to realize that they are considered as human resources and not viewed as the managers or owners of the community sports events. By the structuring of the information flow in events regarding sports, professionals disempower or disenfranchise voluntary participation (Breuer & Wicker, 2007). In recent management systems the volunteers are given the role of soldiers and they have the responsibility to implement the plans that are developed by paid employees of the associations. Thus the increase in the conflicts and complexities re the root cause behind the gradual decrease in the participation of the volunteers in sports events.

The procedure of volunteer management includes the factors of motivation that persuade the volunteers to take part in sports events. The gradual decrease in the participation of the volunteers is chiefly due to the inappropriate methods of management used by the voluntary spports associations regarding the management of the individuals who volunteer (Cuskelly, 2004). The main issues behind the decrease in the participations of the volunteers have to be considered by the management of the volunteers and a proper action plan is required to address such issues and improve the level of volunteer participations in the community sports (Taylor et al., 2003). This might be attained by considering the factors that motivates the individuals to volunteer in community and international sports events. It should be the duty of the management to make sure that they sustain the participation of the volunteers in sports events.

Conclusion

From the ideas mentioned above and the facts, it is quite evident that te participation of the volunteers in sports events have much importance behind the success of the sports events. There are numerous studies regarding this issue and motivation of the volunteers in sports. Going through these studies, various theories have been found those address the factors of motivation to increase the rate of participation as volunteers in sports events. The managements of the associations must move forward from the age old concept of managing sports as those are the primary reasons behind the decrease in active participation of the volunteers. Thus the managements of the sports associations must take a progressive and impactful approach to solve the situation

References

Breuer, C., & Wicker, P. (2007). Sports clubs in Germany. Sport development report, 2008, 5-50.

Cuskelly, G. (2004). Volunteer retention in community sport organisations. European sport management quarterly, 4(2), 59-76.

Doherty, A. (2005). A profile of community sport volunteers. Toronto: Parks and Recreation Ontario and Sport Alliance of Ontario, 3.

Gumulka, G., Barr, C., Lasby, D., & Brownlee, B. (2005). Understanding the capacity of sports and recreation organizations. Retrieved December, 8, 2007.

Hoye, R., Cuskelly, G., Taylor, T. & Darcy, S. (2008). Volunteer Motives and Retention in Community Sport: A Study of Australian Rugby Clubs. Australian Journal on Volunteering, 13(2), 40-48.

Lasby, D., & Sperling, J. (2007). Understanding the capacity of Ontario sports and recreation organizations. Toronto: Imagine Canada.

Nichols, G., & Ojala, E. (2009). Understanding the management of sports events volunteers through psychological contract theory. Voluntas, 20(4), 369-387

 Ringuet-Riot,C., Cuskelly,G., Auld, C. & Zakus, D. (2014). Volunteer roles, involvement and commitment in voluntary sport organizations: evidence of core and peripheral volunteers. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 17:1, 116-133

Taylor, P., Nichols, G., Holmes, K., James, M., Gratton, C., Garrett, R., ... & King, L. (2003). Sports volunteering in England. London: Sport England

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