V4V Good Practice Case Studies: Eesti Ratsaspordi Liit (Estonian Equestrian Federation)

Sport / Activity: Equestrianism |   Country: Estonia

Which of the four pillars does the example cover?


Pillar 1 – Volunteer strategy and planning



Pillar 3 – Volunteer management and retention


Pillar 4 – Volunteer development and training

Focus of volunteer intervention: Volunteer recruitment


Eesti Ratsaspordi Liit is the Federation for equestrian sports in Estonia. Volunteer recruitment has become increasingly difficult in recent years with a bigger volunteer pool needing to be trained to fulfil volunteer requirements at events. For example, previously a pool of 50 trained volunteers would be sufficient to undertake the tasks needed, now over 70 trained volunteers are required. This is largely due to changes in society that mean volunteers often have less time to commit to volunteering and that younger people are less likely to volunteer. This means that there is a need to think differently about how volunteers are recruited. Therefore, the Eesti Ratsaspordi Liit sought a solution that would enable them to recruit enough trained and experienced volunteers to support the international competitions they organise.

Activities undertaken:

The federation recognised that volunteering at sports events often involves similar skills irrespective of the sport being played. Therefore, different sports could share their volunteers. As such, a partnership was established between the Estonian Equestrian Federation and the Estonian Athletics Association to share volunteers to support the running of international competitions and events for both sports.

Challenges faced:

A key challenge was encouraging volunteers (who may be very loyal to their sport) to volunteer for a different sport federation. However, because the partnership was reciprocal, most volunteers could see the benefits of the arrangement and were happy to get involved.


More trained, experienced, and skilled volunteers available to support international competitions and events. The partnership has also enabled the development of a connection with another sport federation which offers potential to look at other joint projects, sharing of information in the future. There is also the possibility to develop similar partnerships with other federations and expand the ‘volunteer sharing’ programme. Volunteers also gain additional experience in working for another sports and with different volunteers providing opportunities to develop new skills and create new friendships.

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