Ministry of Sport

Athletes Thank Volunteers ‘Changing Communities. Changing Lives’

Australia’s high-performance athletes are joining together to deliver a thank you message to volunteer coaches, officials, administrators, team managers and many others, as part of National Volunteer Week.

Running from May 18-24, this year marks the 31st anniversary of National Volunteer Week, celebrating the more than six million Australians who give their time to help communities across the country, with the theme of ‘Changing Communities. Changing Lives’.

Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) CEO, Peter Conde, said the role and work of the nation’s sporting volunteers should never be undervalued.

“The AIS wants to show our support to Australia’s volunteers through National Volunteers Week, in recognition of the millions of volunteers who make sport possible for so many,” Conde said.

“Working with athletes, we want to share a simple message of ‘thank you’ to the coaches, officials, team managers, groundskeepers, canteen workers, gear stewards and plenty more, that support the enjoyment of sport across Australia.

“Our high-performance athletes all have volunteers who have helped them at many points in their career.

“This week is our chance to say thanks.

“As we continue on the path to a safe return to sport, we will again be looking towards our sporting volunteers to help get grassroots and high-performance sport back up and running.

“Join our athletes in showing your support of National Volunteers Week, share a ‘thank you’ message on social media or pick up the phone to the volunteer that helps in your sport,” he said.

Winter Paralympic alpine skier, Sam Tait, said he would not even be involved in sport if it wasn’t for the volunteers at Disabled Winter Sports Australia.

“Disabled Winter Sports Australia were the ones who taught me how to ski, they even gave me my first sit ski,” Tait said.

“They give up their time to help disabled people get on snow and are a vital part of our community.

“What we do wouldn’t exist without them,” he said.

Olympic silver medallist, Taylor McKeown, took the opportunity to recognise her mum Sharon as part of the National Volunteer Week campaign.

“She does so much to keep University of Sunshine Coast club running smoothly,” McKeown said.

“She works full-time and looks after our family and still finds time to manage the USC Spartans.

“She is selfless and always puts others before herself,” she said.

Joshua Hodson

Joshua Hodson