The European Commission assumes that approximately ten million people act as volunteers in more than 700,000 sports clubs. The Eurobarometer “Sport and Physical Activity” shows major differences between the different member countries: A comparatively large proportion of respondents from Finland (18%), Austria (15%) and Ireland (14%) state that they serve as volunteers to support sporting activities, whereas respondents from Portugal (2%) and Italy (3%) rarely do so (European Commission 2010, 64ff.).


“Volunteering refers to an activity undertaken as a result of one's own intrinsic motivation, based on one's own decisions, unpaid and not for financial gain” For example offering your energy and time to support a local sports club or sports programme, free of charge.

Successful volunteering is based on the principle of a two-way relationship and should have benefits for the volunteer and the organization to which they gift their time.

Each party will have expectations of the other, and it is important that both the volunteer and the club understand what these are in order to help create a successful partnership.

There are many different ideas about what volunteering is, depending on a variety of factors. It is important to note that volunteering can be defined in different ways. In particular, it is important to distinguish between “informal” and “formal” volunteering .