The Club Hub features guidance and resources to support established and developing clubs

Club Volunteers

Wheelchair rugby clubs would not be able to operate without the time, energy and commitment of their volunteers. Volunteers give up their free time, be it weekly or just at competitions, whatever the role they take – from coach through to mechanic, or being on the committee. They are the life and soul of our sport.

This means it is important that we look after our volunteers, that we can inspire them, support them, and recognise the hard work and commitment they put in so they feel valued. We need to make sure they have a fun and enjoyable experience from the first time they engage with a club. By creating a positive environment for our volunteers, we can help maintain their participation and will contribute to finding new volunteers.

Here you’ll find information and guidance on:

Volunteer Roles

Finding Volunteers

Keeping Volunteers

Volunteer Roles

Wheelchair rugby clubs generally rely on a team of volunteers to help the club run effectively.

A club’s volunteers come in many different variations, from players who help out with club admin, or dedicated family and friends who pitch in at a training sessions.

Training and development opportunities are available for the various volunteer roles within a club, and more information on this can be found by contacting your local RDO or GBWR’s Workforce Development Officer:

Contact the Development Team

The foundation of a good club is to have an effective committee; this is a group of club volunteers who run and manage the club’s affairs off the field of play. The committee exists to serve the clubs members and to move the club in the desired direction. A typical club committee would comprise of:

  • Chair: the person in charge
  • Secretary: handles the administration duties for the club
  • Treasurer: manages the clubs finances
  • Welfare Officer:  primary role is to safeguard the children and vulnerable adults at the club

Beyond these positions, the remaining committee members roles depend largely on the needs of the club.

A club’s Committee should aim to meet at least 4 times per year in order to discuss any club developments and plans they may have; the club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) should also be managed by the committee.

An example club set-up can be found below, which gives an idea of how an effective committee can work to serve the wider membership.

More information on club committees is provided by Sport England Club Matters:

Get your team in place

There are a number of role descriptions below for key personnel within a typical wheelchair rugby club. These can be used as advert templates to recruit new volunteers and committee members, or can be a guide for your current volunteers and committee members to follow.

Finding Volunteers

Before attracting new volunteers, clubs need to be aware of the experience they are providing and what they need the volunteers to do. Completing a review and developing an action plan can provide an understanding of the club’s position and help sell the benefits of volunteering for your club.

Some people will experience barriers to volunteering; by proactively addressing these barriers, a club will attract more volunteers and will create a more welcoming environment. People are also more likely to be interested in supporting your club if they can see that the experience will be meaningful and rewarding.

Sport England Club Matters resources are available for further guidance:

Finding volunteers

A simple step to take when recruiting new volunteers would be to ask for a personal reference for the candidate. This will help to build a fair picture of the potential volunteer and allows clubs to highlight any possible future issues. If required, a club may also contact their local RDO who can apply for an appropriate DBS check to be carried out on the individual – applications for individuals engaging in their role as volunteers are free, however there must be a clear requirement for a DBS check to be carried out and clubs are dissuaded from checking all their volunteers on the DBS system without justification. The NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit provides further information:

Safer Recruitment

Keeping Volunteers

One of the volunteer roles identified earlier on this page is that of Volunteer Coordinator. This person can be the first point of contact for new volunteers and can support the training and development of all volunteers within your club.

Using the volunteer role descriptions, the roles and responsibilities for each position can be identified. The key is to match the right person to the most appropriate role, looking at their life skills, qualifications, the amount of time they can commit, and what they will feel comfortable doing. A useful tool for identifying the right role for the right person is a skills matrix.

Once you have volunteers involved with their specific roles, it is important to continue to support and recognise the commitment they are putting into the running of the club; options for this can be to have a volunteer of the month award, or to conduct regular volunteer reviews. A volunteer induction can also be an important part of welcoming new volunteers – this will also ensure they are fully aware of the important aspects of your club.

Sport England Club Matters provides guidance and resources to support clubs:

Keeping volunteers

Developing volunteers

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