Dragon sport ; a critical evaluation of volunteer recruitment
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The Sports Council for Wales’ Dragon Sport initiative focuses on the recruitment of volunteers to provide extra curricular sports opportunities for children. The purpose of this study was to establish the effectiveness of the Dragon Sport co-ordinators in recruiting volunteers and to identify the nature of volunteering in Dragon Sport, highlighting the challenges faced by volunteers and volunteer co-ordinators. Qualitative information was gathered from various co-ordinators by means of semi-structured interviews. Results revealed a more formalised approach towards volunteer recruitment with the development of action plans and partnerships. However the co-ordinators face a number of issues and barriers, such as Criminal Record Bureau checks, teacher resistance and legislative changes have produced rigid operational procedures and requirements. Quantitative data was gathered from 90 potential Dragon Sport volunteers selected from a specific geographical area, to take part in this study, with a response rate of 80 (Males =37; Females=43). Assessments were made on their motives and attitudes to volunteer work and their perceptions of the Dragon Sport recruitment process through a self-completion questionnaire. The questionnaire respondents encompassed a variety of individuals whose volunteer experience ranged widely. The results indicated that people’s attitudes towards volunteering varied. From the findings arose a view that many people remained unaware of the volunteering opportunities available to them within Dragon Sport. It was also concluded that those who are not active volunteers are afraid of the potential workload or their lack of competence. Furthermore a fundamental change is needed in making Dragon Sport a more recognisable brand due to the fact that recruiting volunteers is fundamentally a marketing problem. This research has addressed several points of practical significance for volunteer recruiters.
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