Celebrating New Zealand’s sports volunteers

  • Jonathan Coleman
Sport and Recreation

Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman says it is important to recognise the role of sports volunteers as part of celebrating International Volunteer Day on Friday.

“Every year 750,000 Kiwis give 50 million hours of their time volunteering in sport,” says Dr Coleman.

“International Volunteer Day is a great opportunity to recognise the valuable and wide-reaching work that our volunteers in the sport sector do.

“These volunteers – coaches, umpires, referees, the people who wash the uniforms, transport the teams,  organise sausage sizzles and clean the clubrooms – they are the heart of sport in New Zealand.

“They also have a key role to play in the success of major sporting events. New Zealand’s co-hosting of the ICC Cricket World Cup in February next year will rely on a volunteer workforce of around 2,500 people.” 

In addition to International Volunteer Day, initiatives such as the Sport Makers campaign help to acknowledge and reward volunteers for their efforts.

The campaign is a three-year partnership between Sport NZ and Lotto New Zealand, which will see more than $1 million worth of clothing and sporting goods provided to volunteers. In its first year, more than 4,500 volunteers were nominated by sports teams and community members.