BY NATHAN DOLE
WHETHER it be as timekeeper, umpire, gatekeeper, in the canteen, or water carrier, every volunteer plays a crucial role at all football/netball clubs across the AFL Central Victoria region.
In National Volunteer Week it’s a chance for all clubs to recognise and thank the volunteers who do what they do because they want to, not have to.
There are so many reasons that drive the millions of volunteers who support sporting clubs across the country.
Some have been helping out at their club for decades, others a few years, and some a few months, but no matter the length of time, all are integral cogs to helping their club function, succeed, and survive.
As player payments rise each year the same cannot be said for the loyal volunteers who give so much of their time at zero cost.
The theme of National Volunteer Week in 2023 is The Change Makers.
In recent years there have been so many changes to how things are done at sporting clubs.
Covid put a massive strain on volunteer numbers, but also for the volunteers who missed the regular connection with their clubmates, not just on match day but throughout the week.
For the volunteers of all ages and backgrounds it’s not about the pats on the back or a gift, usually a “thank you for what you do” is enough.
No matter the reason, no sporting season can roll on without those willing to help their club in any way they can, and all for free.