Sport Volunteers are important in making the games happen and it is vital for sporting associations/federations to retain them.
These sentiments were shared by The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA) Commissioner, Dr Peter Kapustin.
Kapustin and his delegation comprising of eight people are in the country on invitation by International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG) conducting certified leadership course, traditional sport and workshop to sport volunteers in Botswana.
Kapustin advised sporting associations to take care of volunteers so that they can retain them and continue serving sport with passion.
“Volunteers need motivation and they have to be taken care of,” advised Kapustin.
“A simple thank you is important to them to appreciate their work. Sporting federations have to appreciate their contribution and their dedication,” Kapustin added.
He further explained that once in a while volunteers need to be invited to some events as a token of appreciation and also be given certificates on the events they have volunteered on.
Kapustin observed that volunteers like any other person need to be assisted in personal development. “Volunteers need to be educated and trained further on their roles. Federations must come up with training programmes for volunteers for their personal upgrading. They need to be sent for refresher courses to compensate for the time they have dedicated to sport” observed Kapustin.
He cautioned sporting federations not to let volunteers just work without being assisted. “Don’t just let them work because they will be frustrated on the way. They need to get back their expenses at least. In other countries governments give them a token of appreciation as recognition for their contribution in sport development. “They can be given a badge or some symbolic token that recognises their work in sport,” Kapustin said.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Mogomotsi Kaboyamodimo noted that government has a platform where people can learn through the spirit of volunteerism.
BNSC strategy coordinator Steady Basupang shared the same sentiments with Kapustin that “sport volunteers should be taken good care of by individual federations. BNSC has an organ responsible for volunteers, Sport Volunteers Movement (SVM). The movement takes care all of all the needs of volunteers.
“Volunteers are trained in many fields such as protocol, administration and the cost are fully paid for by BNSC. We also offer certificates to our volunteers after event as recognition of their participation,” Basupang explained.
According to the IWG secretary general, Game Mothibi the TAFISA engagement was part of the IWG legacy to capacitate volunteers in Botswana and in recognition of the sporting events that will be hosted in Botswana.
“Hosting a TAFISA Certified Leadership Course in Botswana will aid capacity development and strengthen the local Sport for All movements. Participants will be exposed to the fundamentals of Sport for All development, as well as the latest international research, programmes and perspective.
Volunteers will take part in the Netball World Youth Cup 2017, The Softball Congress 2017 and the 7th IWG World Conference on Women and Sport to be staged in 2018.
The visiting crew is training 70 sports volunteers. Kapustin observed that of the seventy volunteers they are training majority are females and some are young unlike in the other countries he has visited where majority are men while others do not have women volunteers.