With this week marking National Volunteer Week (NVW), Hockey Australia CEO David Pryles has penned an open letter to everyone who volunteers in hockey.
To every person who gives up their time voluntarily to ensure hockey is the best game and greatest experience it can be – a massive thank you.
Regardless of the amount of time given or task performed – it does not go unnoticed and is genuinely appreciated, even if it may feel otherwise.
I am involved as volunteer at my kids local sporting club. I make up one of the three million sport volunteers in Australia. There is something so rewarding and fulfilling about contributing and giving back to sport in this way. It provides that feeling of being part of a community and a sense of belonging.
Having also joined a local hockey club this year, it has made me fully aware of the extent people in the hockey community go to ensure people feel welcomed and included.
It is widely stated and proclaimed across every sport that volunteers are the lifeblood of sport. Without volunteers, hockey clubs and competitions simply wouldn’t exist.
The amazing and often thankless jobs done by volunteers does not go amiss, which is why one of the pillars of Australian hockey’s new strategic plan focuses on our sporting heroes – both on and off the pitch.
I also want to give a huge shout out to those who play hockey and then also volunteer in some capacity. Those who stick around after their games to help in the canteen, umpire or fulfil a role in the technical area for another game. Those who administer the club and ensure that teams are filled each week. To all the coaches, officials, team managers, committee members that work tirelessly throughout the season to ensure our great game continues to grow and be an inclusive, safe sport for all.
There is no denying that COVID made people re-evaluate how they spend their time and what they do with it. So, if you are half considering fulfilling a voluntary role at your local hockey team or club, however big or small, I strongly encourage you to give it a go. You won’t regret it.
Every day of the year is a day worthy of celebrating and thanking those who volunteer in sport and the broader community. National Volunteer Week enables us to shine the spotlight on those who contribute so much to our communities.
With this, a final thanks to all the volunteers in our hockey community. You are all Change Makers and make our sport happen. For those who are thinking of volunteering – Be Inspired, Get Involved.
CEO, Hockey Australia