Insights from Round Tables in Turkey

Sport has always been more than just a game; it’s a platform for growth, development, and community engagement. In Turkey, the spirit of sport received a boost recently with the implementation of three impactful round tables within our volunteering project. These round table brought together a diverse range of individuals passionate about using sport as tool for education, skill development, and volunteerism.

The first round table, held on March 21, 2024, brought together young assistant trainers from various sport clubs in Konya to research into skill improvement and volunteering opportunities within the sport area. Participants had the chance to discuss and work on “organization” of a larger event with the aim to see what kind of volunteers are needed to organize an event, how to recruit them and how to manage them, also how to promote volunteering in general in sport activities. 

Following closely, the second round table was organized on March 23, 2024, and welcomed young sport science faculty students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, to explore the intersections of academia and practical application in sports volunteering. During the second round table these young sport students had the chance to explore what kind of skills we gain through volunteering in sport activities and also to work on organization of a sport event in accordance to the methods outlined in the Took Kit. Participants also had the chance to create a call for volunteers in accordance to our methods from the tool kit, and conduct interviews using the same methods. In this way, they tested if the Tool Kit is a useful tool that can be used in practice. 

Lastly, on March 26, 2024, young active athletes representing different sport clubs in Konya municipality met to share their insights on volunteering and skill development in their respective disciplines. They to, had the chance to see if our methods are working in practice, but also to debate and share their own methods, share information on volunteering in the sport clubs where they came from, as well as discuss volunteering in sport activities in general. 

At the core of all these 3 gatherings was the presentation and promotion of the Tool Kit developed by the Go4Sport Volunteering project. This inclusive resource serves as a guide to connecting the power of sport for educational purposes, fostering volunteering initiatives, and enhancing skills across diverse sporting disciplines. The round tables provided a unique platform to not only showcase the Tool Kit but also to engage in lively discussions, exchange opinions, and test methodologies outlined within it.

Participants across all three round tables were afforded the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in volunteer recruitment, management, and promotion. Through practical exercises, such as creating calls for volunteers and conducting interviews using Tool Kit methods, attendees gained helpful understandings into the dynamics of volunteerism within the sporting context.

In total, 45 enthusiastic participants contributed their expertise and enthusiasm to these inspiring discussions, underlining the collective commitment to advancing sport through volunteerism and education. Their engagement demonstrated the potential of sport to unite individuals from diverse backgrounds in pursuit of common goals.

These round tables serve as a demonstration to the power of sport and volunteerism. By equipping individuals with the necessary tools and knowledge, initiatives like Go4Sport are paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future where sport serves as a catalyst for positive change.

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