V4V Good Practice Case Studies: Spordiklubi “Do” (Sports Club “Do”)

Sport / Activity: Judo  |   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: Recruiting and developing young volunteers


Small sports clubs do not have the opportunity to hire a specific person to be responsible for recruiting, training, and managing volunteers, yet they need a bank of sports-specific volunteers for organising sports competitions. The goal of this initiative was therefore to get sport-specific volunteers who would be helpful in organising the club’s competitions over a long period of time.

Activities undertaken:

The Sports Club “Do” has proactively provided opportunities for children (both junior members and the children of participants) to volunteer, starting as assistant referees in smaller competitions. Children from ages 8 upwards can volunteer as assistant scoreboard judges (working alongside more experienced judges), whilst those aged 14 and above can volunteer as tatami referees etc. Thus, as they get older the club is able to provide progression opportunities for younger volunteers so that they can develop their skills and take on more responsibilities. The club has also been proactive in recruiting adult volunteers and supporting them to gain the skills needed to volunteer in different roles.

Challenges faced:

It was initially challenging to get volunteers with skills in IT, but due to the “community of volunteers” the club has created, they have been able to use existing volunteers to help find and recruit additional volunteers with the relevant skills.


Involving children in volunteering at a young age has helped to foster a long-term commitment to volunteering. Many children have also got their parents involved in volunteering in different roles across the club. Thus, the club has been able to create a sense of community within the club based on friendship groups and family connections and a strong community of volunteers. Some parents continue to volunteer even if their children have left the club. Children who volunteer develop more friendships and this can motivate them to stay at the club for longer.

Volunteering at competitions gives children the opportunity to have direct contact with famous athletes, increasing their self-confidence and enthusiasm for volunteering and training. For example, after winning a bronze medal in a cadet European championship, Estonian national team judoka Mattias Kuusik volunteered only a few weeks after as a simple basket carrier in the Senior World Cup. Through this, he got to talk to and know famous senior athletes who were idols and role models for him.

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