A unique, fully accredited volunteer training course will be developed as part of a new partnership to build a 1000-strong volunteer workforce for the 16th Australian Masters Games.
On Tuesday, 4 April, the Australian Masters Games and University of Tasmania launched the Community Volunteer Program during an event held at the Cradle Coast campus.
The joint initiative will recruit, train and accredit volunteers ahead of the sporting festival, which will attract competitors from all over the country to the North-West Coast in October.
University of Tasmania Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community, Partnerships and Regional Development) Professor David Adams said the event was significant for the region, not only in terms of sport and economic development, but also as an opportunity to build community engagement and involvement.
“The strength of a community relies on more than simple economics. Anything that we can do to support and grow things like volunteerism increases connections and resilience in a community,” Professor Adams said.
“This is an example of the sort of long-lasting positive impact the University can have when we partner with organisations across the community.”
It is anticipated that 5000-6000 people will participate in one or more events during the Games and up to 1000 volunteers will be recruited to perform a variety of roles before, during and after the competition.
Australian Masters Games General Manager Mr Scott Wade said the program aimed to do more than just train volunteers for a one-off event.
“Rather than train up a volunteer workforce just for the games, we wanted to contribute to the ongoing development of sporting clubs and the community in Tasmania through volunteerism,” Mr Wade said.
“Those that already volunteer are fabulous and generous people, but we’d like to keep raising the bar on the service standards of volunteers and make it attractive for others to be involved, particularly our young people.”
The program will consist of online training modules in general volunteerism and volunteering for the Australian Masters Games followed by role-specific face to face sessions.
Endorsed and supported by Volunteering Tasmania, the program will work closely with the region’s education sector to create practical learning experiences for young people.
Participants will also be encouraged to continue formal learning in this area through the University of Tasmania’s Associate Degrees and other relevant courses.
“Volunteering can offer great opportunities to gain confidence, new skills and build networks, which can make all the difference to someone looking for work or a career in a specific field,” Mr Wade said.
The University of Tasmania will also look at research opportunities linked to the Games in fields such sports science, economic development, tourism and the value of volunteers.
Registrations are now open for volunteers: Visit http://www.australianmastersgames.com/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org