On 10 September 2014, the amazing RIBA Stirling Prize nomimated Benzie Building at Manchester Metropolitan University played host to the very first Sports Volunteering Conference. Hosted by the Business in Sport knowledge cluster, it was a beautiful, sunny day with spectacular views of Manchester. However, thanks to a packed schedule there wasn’t much time to sit and enjoy the roof terrace!
The aim of the conference was to forge new collaborations and create networks between academics, practitioners and volunteering organisations, so that we can build on all the opportunities created from a decade of marquee sporting events hosted in Britain, such as the Commonwealth Games (both in Manchester 2002 and Glasgow 2014), the London 2012 Olympic Games and stages of the Tour de France.
The calibre of keynote speakers was second to none including representatives from Sport England, Greater Sport, England Hockey, Join In, Cofely GDF-Suez, Personal Best, Glasgow Life and Manchester City Council, all of whom kindly agreed to give up their valuable time to share their views of the volunteering legacy and its future potential.
One of the conference highlights came from sports volunteer Peter Maguire who gave delegates a fascinating insight into the life of a volunteer and what his experiences have meant to him personally, being an integral player in the success of such historic events.
Feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive:
Topics were insightful and informative.
Topics around volunteer management systems particularly relevant and interesting.
The talks from high profile volunteer recruiters such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games were brilliant.
I have already used this content already with colleagues, especially around engaging non-club volunteers in club activities.
I thoroughly enjoyed the subject matter and the opportunity to listen to different views.
All of the day was relevant and enjoyable – I now have some valuable information to take home.
We hope to build on the success of this event with some exciting new initiatives. If you are interested in joining the Business in Sport cluster or would like to find out more about what we do please contact Catherine Elliott on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Cluster’s website at http://www.business.mmu.ac.uk/kh/bis-cluster.php