Ian Nunn of the Join In Trust believes that the Olympics has the potential to create a lasting legacy of volunteering
On the eve of London
2012, images of elite athletes stare out from buses, posters and magazines.
They are the stars, the heroes and the potential champions who will hopefully
make history over the coming weeks.
As the Olympics
and Paralympics unfold, global icons will emerge. But behind each of these
icons is an army of people. From the coaches at local sports clubs, the people
who prepare the tea, to the stewards and timekeepers in each practice race we
estimate that 40,000 people are required to make one Olympian. Sport England
state that “without the two million adult volunteers who contribute at least
one hour a week to volunteering in sport, community sport would grind to a halt”.
If we are to 'Inspire a
Generation' as the London 2012 Olympic motto says we will, we need to ensure
that there is enough human capacity, in
terms of volunteers and coaches, to make the most of this unique moment. When
this summer kids are inspired by Sir Chris Hoy, Jessica Ennis or Mo Farrah, we
need to make sure that this once in a lifetime opportunity isn’t wasted, and we
have the people and support in place that local clubs and groups need to
capture this moment. No country has done this successfully before, so let’s
make this a first for the UK.
'Join In Weekend', taking place on 18/19th August, between the end of the
Olympics and before the start of the Paralympic Games, will capture the
enthusiasm for sport that the Olympics create and bring it back to the place it
begins for all great champions – their local sports clubs. The weekend will provide
clubs and local community groups with an opportunity to convert this once in a
lifetime wave of interest in sport into help, support and membership from their
local community. It will do this by encouraging clubs
and groups to hold events which showcase their work to the community and reach
new and diverse members or local people who have the skills and knowledge to
strengthen the club.
During the weekend individuals
will take part in sport taster sessions, but also dig deep, use skills that
they didn't know were useful and join in a local sporting transformation. They
could be painting the fence, signing up to be a coach or helper or just
clearing up the car park. Their volunteering will create a lasting and
sustainable legacy for the club and community, building relationships between
individuals, groups and clubs that go far beyond the close of the games.
Already, over 3, 000 events
have been registered on the Join in website and we are hoping to have thousands
more registered by 18/19th August.
The events range from taster sessions in wheelchair basketball to recruitment
drives for coaches and even beach volleyball barbeques. To get people excited about their local event,
Join In has begun promoting the weekend in the national press, on the web, on
the radio - doing everything we can to bring supporters, helpers and members to
local sports clubs and groups.
To Sign Up for the Join In weekend
August 18/19th visit: www.joininuk.org or connect via www.facebook.com/joininuk.
The Join in weekend is managed and
run by the registered charity, The Join In Trust Limited. Funded by a Cabinet
Office grant, the charity is endorsed by the UK Sports Councils and National
Governing Bodies of Sport, as well as many local and regional sporting