First Ever European Sport Volunteering Summit organised in Budapest

Dec 20, 2023 | EOSE news, V4V News

On 13 December 2023, 65 sport volunteering stakeholders from across Europe gathered in person at the Hungarian University of Sports Science (HUSS) in Budapest, Hungary for the first ever European Sport Volunteering Summit.

The event was organised by EOSE and our partners from the V4V project (full title: Analysing and Making Visible the Skills Acquired Through Sport Volunteering in Europe), co-funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ sport programme.

The event was moderated by Mr Greg Woods, World Rugby’s Participation Programmes Manager. Its preparation and delivery was a real team effort with all partners playing important roles.

Following welcoming messages from Professor Dr. Tomàs Sterbenz, Rector of the University, Dr Szilvia Perényi, Associate Professor, and Kirstie Simpson, President of EOSE, the summit received a presentation from Floor van Houdt, Head of the European Commission’s Sport Unit.

Floor updated the meeting on the Unit’s evaluation of the EU Work Plan for Sport 2021-2024, the implications for the next work plan and a number of other EU initiatives relevant to sport volunteering. She thanked EOSE and the partners for their efforts in this vital area of sport, wished the project a successful conclusion and expressed an eagerness to receiving its final products.

The main business of the summit began with a presentation by Aurélien Favre, EOSE’s Executive Director introducing V4V and its aims and principal outputs.

Aurélien, with the support of Stephen Robson and Janine Partington (Leeds Beckett University in the UK) then gave an introduction to the two innovative interactive online tools: a self-evaluation toolkit for sport organisations to help them assess their strengths and weaknesses in regard to volunteering and a self-reflection tool for sport volunteers themselves which would help them identify the competencies, skills and personal qualities they have developed while volunteering.

Geoff Carroll, EOSE’s Director of Skills Development, gave a presentation which covered the principal findings from the V4V project, now published in the 140-page report, Sport Volunteering in Europe: Realities, Opportunities and Challenges.

Geoff highlighted important findings on the size and importance of sport volunteering to the sector, how it varies across European nations, the need for greater diversity and inclusion and examined key themes around volunteer recruitment, management, training and retention. He concluded by summarising some key recommendations for sport organisations on how they can improve their sport volunteering practices to deliver a better organised, more stable and effective volunteer workforce consistent with EOSE’s vision for the future.

Delegates then divided into four breakout groups, led by V4V partners, to consider five vital questions linked to the findings and engaged in animated and stimulating discussions for more than an hour. Following lunch, group rapporteurs reported back to a plenary session and their main points recorded.

The summit concluded with a with a panel consisting of V4V partner representatives, Dr Perényi (HUSS) Diana Pirciu (Romanian Football Federation), Fabio Silva (Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth), Joseph Rojas (Centre for European Volunteering) and Hilal Erkoca Molgaard (International Sport and Culture Association) who responded with their own reflections on the project and their experience of sport volunteering in response to questions from the moderator

Testimonials

Delegates expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the summit and undertook to disseminate its exciting research findings and innovative online tools widely through their networks.

This is best summarised by a series of testimonials :

“Really grateful to EOSE and the V4V project for this opportunity, to be exposed and surrounded by people who care so much about volunteering, and the positive actions to drive change is quite inspirational. You’ve brought together a group of people that can be the catalyst for change across the system”.

“The implementation of this ambitious project needs to create moments like this, a wonderful culmination of three years’ work. This congress has been the catalyst for us to role model with our own teams and networks. It’s guided us to how we can do that in our own country.”

Aurélien Favre, EOSE Executive Director and manager of the V4V project, said:

“The first-ever European Sport Volunteering Summit held in Budapest on 13 December 2023 exceeded our expectations and I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the event.”

“The event brought together a diverse audience of stakeholders from 23 different countries and it was very encouraging to see such inspiring exchanges and conversations between participants on the realities and challenges of sport volunteering as well as on the innovative digital tools for sport organisations and sport volunteers which were introduced in Budapest.”

“I sincerely believe that V4V and the Summit can be considered as the starting point for further initiatives in the area of sport volunteering.

A warm thank you to our hosts from the Hungarian University of Sports Science and to all V4V partners for the amazing work and commitment during the past 3 years.”

Contact

Mr Aurélien Favre – EOSE Executive Director – Click here