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Sunday, March 25, 2018

SunLive - The Bay's news first
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Thank goodness for volunteers!

Melanie Short
Marketing and Sponsorship Manager
Sport BOP

Time and time again I am reminded of just how vital our volunteers are to keeping the sporting world going (any many others I’m sure!). Every time a decision is made to run an event, a walking group, a have a go session, a workshop – it is inevitable volunteers are required to make it happen – and also to ensure it is sustainable. Volunteer groups are made up of like minded people – most likely involved due to their own interest or children’s interest in the activity. Volunteering is a great way to be a part of a wider cause, and although at times can be time consuming (amongst other things), it is a great feeling to be a part of something bigger than your immediate circumstances.

With our vision of more people, more active, more often and to ensure our team achieves our strategic goals, we keep ourselves busy; not just delivering quality events but developing the capability of deliverers in other areas: recreational & sporting organisations and in the school setting, working hard to increase the number and quality of volunteers.

How do we do this?

We run a series of Community Sport Workshops – due to be run throughout Winter around the Bay of Plenty, which covers a series of topics to upskill clubs and volunteers.

On behalf of Sport NZ and Lotto, we also facilitate the Thank a SportMaker volunteers programme – volunteers are nominated and thanked through an online programme with the opportunity to be selected to receive a certificate and gift of thanks. This also places them into the annual draw to be the SportNZ Sportmaker of the Year.

Sport Bay of Plenty also hosts the annual Bay of Plenty Sports Awards and a key aspect of this evening is to acknowledge and thank members of the sporting community who have made a significant contribution to their sport of choice – many have multiple sports/ activities they support. This part of the evening is often sited as the most heart warming as the recipients are very surprised and humbled to receive their award.

Being a volunteer is a key aspect of keeping sport and recreation vibrant in the Bay of Plenty. The latest Active NZ Survey has just been published, highlighting that 3 out of 10 New Zealanders volunteer in Sport and Recreation. Please take the time today to thank a volunteer! - Community Workshops


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