The 5th of May 2021 saw the kick-off meeting for V4V, a new project funded through the Erasmus+ Sport programme of the European Commission. Coordinated by the European Observatoire of Sport and Employment (EOSE), with the support of 12 other expert partners from the European sport sector, V4V aims to analyse the sport volunteer workforce, improve recruitment and retention, and create an innovative online self-assessment tool which identifies and showcases their skills and competences to potential employers and education providers.

Volunteers are vital and gain much informal learning which, if made visible, will be a powerful incentive to volunteer recruitment, ease transition into paid employment and career progression, and address skill shortages.

The main expected outputs of the V4V project include:

  • A comprehensive mapping of sport volunteer workforce
  • A digital toolkit for volunteer recruitment, retention and management
  • An online competency-based self-assessment tool so volunteers can identify and showcase skills and competences gained through volunteering experiences
  • The first ever European Sport Volunteering Skills Summit

The first meeting on May 5th was scheduled to take place in Portugal, but due to COVID restrictions was successfully held online. The meeting gave the chance to learn about the work of each partner organisation in sport volunteering and hear their expectations for the project. The reasons for the project and the detailed workplan were also presented at the meeting.

Partners began to plan for a comprehensive mapping of the sport volunteering workforce in Europe; discussing the main areas to focus on during the project research activities. They suggested a range of sources to include in the desk research and discussed the interviews with volunteers and Europe-wide survey of stakeholders which will take place in the project.

Aurélien Favre, EOSE Executive Director, said “During this project kick-off meeting it was encouraging to see the commitment and enthusiasm of the partners to develop the area of volunteering in sport in Europe. We look forward to pursuing the collaboration to deliver a proper analysis of volunteering in sport and innovative tools to positively impact the recruitment, development and retention of volunteers in our sector.”

Jock Peggie, World Rugby General Manager, Training and Education said: “We are happy to partner with EOSE and the V4V project. The aims of the project sit well with our participation goals in our new strategic plan as we aim to increase the capacity of our member unions to sustain participants (players, coaches, officials, support staff, volunteers). Mapping out the roles of volunteers (and the subsequent skills required) and developing tools which our member unions will be able to utilise should help us to support our unions to strengthen and grow.”