Key findings and Recommendations in Turkey

In Türkiye, sports branches and activities are a widespread and important field in which different age groups are involved and in which many people shape their lives. The results of the research show that volunteering in sports is recognized by young people in Türkiye and by the sports clubs or organizations.

High number of 188 people surveyed (half of the whole) and all 10 clubs have experience with volunteering and volunteers’ engagement. This can suggest that volunteering in sport activities is relatively common activity among young people in Turkey, and that there is interest among young people to be engage in this kind of activities. The research shows also, that volunteering in sport activities is popular mainly among university students and among those is urban areas. Short term volunteering is more popular, then long-term volunteering.

When analyzing the responses of those who didn’t had any volunteering experience, we can conclude that there is a lack of understanding and defining volunteering in sport activities, as well as lack of knowledge about opportunities that exist. This is especially present among youngsters in rural areas. Therefore, some recommendations in this area would be the need to raise awareness about volunteering opportunities and improve young people’s knowledge about benefits they can gain through volunteering in sport activities, and then, create opportunities that will enable young people to network with others and learn more about opportunities that exist. As suggested by the respondents from the research this can be further done by using social media for awareness raising and promotion of volunteering opportunities.

From the research it can be seen also, that although skills you gain through volunteering activities are to some extend recognized by young people, such as teamwork, organization, communication, leadership, creativity, social skills, public speaking and time management, there is still a need to underline this when promoting volunteering opportunities.

The data also shows and it can be concluded that people are motivated to volunteer in sport for various reasons, including personal development, skill development, having fun. Additionally, volunteering in sports can also help individuals protect their careers and increase their chances of obtaining a job, adopt common values, and gain respect.

Based on these findings, it is recommended that sports organizations should emphasize the benefits of volunteering in sports, not only for the sport itself but also for the personal and professional development of volunteers. Additionally, it may be helpful to provide opportunities for volunteers to learn new skills and develop existing ones, which can help them in their future careers. Sports organizations can also create a welcoming and inclusive environment that promotes common values and respect for all volunteers.

Research shows a strong interest among young people to participate both in long and short-term volunteering opportunities in sport activities. Sports clubs should expand the volunteering opportunities they have, provide flexible time periods and encourage young people to volunteer. Based on the research findings, here we summarize some recommendations for sports clubs to facilitate volunteering in sport activities in the future:

  • Sport clubs should work on expanding volunteering opportunities: Sports clubs should create more volunteering opportunities to attract young people to participate. The clubs can consider offering different types of volunteering opportunities, such as event planning, coaching, marketing, fundraising, and administrative tasks;
  • Should consider providing flexible time periods for volunteering. Many young people may have limited time due to academic and work commitments. Therefore, sports clubs should offer flexible volunteering time periods, including short-term, weekend, and evening volunteering opportunities;
  • Encourage and motivate young people to volunteer. Sports clubs should encourage young people to volunteer by highlighting the benefits of volunteering, such as skill development, personal growth, and networking opportunities. The clubs can also collaborate with local schools and universities to recruit young volunteers having in mind that it the research showed that students are the most active in volunteering;
  • Put effort into recognizing and rewarding volunteers. It is essential to recognize and reward volunteers’ efforts to keep them motivated and engaged. Sports clubs can recognize volunteers by providing certificates, letters of recommendation, or hosting volunteer appreciation events. Additionally, clubs can provide volunteers with training and development opportunities to enhance their skills and knowledge;
  • Raise awareness and promote volunteering in sport activities by using social media and online platforms. Sports clubs should use social media and online platforms to reach out to young people and promote their volunteering opportunities. They can also create online communities where volunteers can share their experiences and connect with each other. 

When it comes to the second part of the research dedicated to sport clubs and their awareness related to volunteering in sport activities, we can conclude that sport clubs are aware of the benefits volunteers can provide for the clubs and their work. However, there is a lack of knowledge on managing volunteers, creating volunteers programs, working with volunteers. 10 of the interviewed sport clubs have experience with engaging volunteers in their work, however, have not produced a volunteers managing program nor have an assigned person in the club that will work only with volunteers. Based on the findings of the research, it would be beneficial for sport clubs to develop a volunteers managing program to effectively engage and retain volunteers. This program can include clear guidelines and responsibilities for volunteers, training programs for volunteers and staff, regular communication and feedback channels, and recognition and appreciation for volunteers’ contributions. Additionally, it would be beneficial for sport clubs to assign a person or team specifically responsible for managing volunteers and their activities within the club. By investing in volunteer management, sport clubs can improve the quality of the volunteering experience and increase the likelihood of volunteers staying engaged and committed to the club’s goals. 

Read our full report in the previous post. 

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