An impressive haul in anyone's book and one that shows how
rewarding young people for the time they give to sport can reap
benefits for others.
In 2012, Sport Wales teamed up with GwirVol (who run the
Millennium Volunteers programme in Wales and who are administered
by WCVA), Sports Leaders UK and Street Games Wales to launch the
MV50 Sport Award.
The MV Award had already recognised over 14000 young people in
Wales who had given 50, 100 or 200 hours of their time to
volunteering, but the decision was made to specifically target
sports volunteering with a new award.
MV50 Sport was aimed at the many young volunteers in Wales who
volunteer in school and community sport and who sometimes do not
think that they are volunteering. It received the Inspire Mark in
the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Young people who volunteer in sport can sign up to MV 50 Sport,
log their hours and get recognised for their commitment.
Impressively, between September 2012 and December 2013 nearly
650 MV Sport Certificates have been claimed by young people aged
14-25 across Wales.
This breaks down to 379 claiming MV50 Sport Certificate, 182
continuing on to achieve their 100 hour certificate, and 96
achieving the highest accolade of 200 hours.
In addition, over 50 organisations across Wales have now signed
up with Gwirvol to offer the MV 50 Sport Award to their young
volunteers and hundreds more have benefited from a young volunteer
signing up to MV at their local Volunteer Centre.
And the additional outlay that launched the programme was just a
£3,000 investment to produce the resources.
Richard Dando, Senior Officer at Sport Wales commented:
"Young people like our Young Ambassadors, and sports leaders who
volunteer in school and community sport, play a significant role in
getting every child hooked on sport for life but also saving
valuable financial resources that paying coaches to deliver the
equivalent amount of sport would bring. It is important these
young people are recognised for their efforts through a national
project like Millennium Volunteers as this may encourage them to
continue volunteering into adulthood."
David Heald, Millennium Volunteer Co-ordinator with GwirVol
"The MV50 Sport Award has been a very successful project to date
and it is growing and recognising more young people across Wales.
The introduction of the interactive feature of the GwirVol website
(www.gwirvol.org) so that
young people can log their hours online or using many smartphones
has also given the programme an even greater boost. The key has
been to have the range of different organisations working together
towards a common goal and including the input of young people
themselves through the involvement of Sport Wales Young
Rob Guy, Sports Leaders UK National Manager for
"We also know that people of all ages appreciate being rewarded
and recognised, especially if they are working in a voluntary
"We need to encourage people to keep volunteering and make it
into a lifelong habit if we are going to get every child hooked on
sport for life in Wales.
"The figures we have seen so far are only the tip of the iceberg
as we know there are lots of local initiatives to recognise the
volunteering efforts of young people. The difference with MV is
that is recognised across the whole of Wales and organisations that
'do their own thing' instead of the MV programme mean that any
recognition remains local.
"The key to success if for organisations to keep recognising
achievement on a local basis but also highlight achievement on a
Wales wide basis by including all their volunteers aged 14-25 in
the MV programme."
Young Ambassador Catrin Norton commented:
"I love MV50 because it allows me to get
recognised for the hard work I put into volunteering. It provides
evidence of my volunteering hours for anyone to see including
future employers. The work of volunteers is vital in helping
achieve Sports Wales' aim of getting every child hooked on sport
for life and MV50 is a fitting reward."
The Key To Success:
- *National recognition is important as is Welsh Government
backing for the programme
- *Building on the established means of recognising youth
volunteering but giving it a sporting dimension
- *Partners with different areas of expertise have come together
to pool resources and knowledge
- *Young people have been involved in design and development from