An Investigation into Volunteering at a Local Soprts Club: A Case Study of Wootton Bassett Tennis Club
University of Wales
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Sports clubs contribute considerably to the provision of sporting opportunities in England, yet suprisingly (sic), there is a lack of appropriate literature and research into the way that clubs operate, their structure and their management styles. Also, research into the numbers of members, clubs sizes and trends within sports clubs has yet to been undertaken (Hoye et al., 2009). The aim of this study was to explore key motivations for becoming a volunteer and to do this by considering issues of recruitment and retaining volunteers. It also aimed to discover the main issues which the club is facing at present and see if these issues are likely to be overcome in the next five years. The third aim was to explore management principles and discover which are perceived as the most and least important to the particular case study. A tennis club in Wiltshire was selected to investigate these issues. A qualitative approach was adopted and four key volunteers were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. This small scale study revealed the importance of volunteers to sports clubs. It also highlighted ongoing pressures for volunteers, together with a number of emerging issues that this club was facing. There was not an obvious profile for these volunteers, in line with Doherty (2005), although three out of the four interviewees shared similar socio-demographic characteristics.
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