Viva la Volunteers!
By Lesley Bates
During the current crisis, our volunteers have been keeping the wheels oiled at our clubs so that when most bans are lifted, we will be fully operational once again. With painting, cleaning, mending, building, planning, grant writing, green maintenance, book work and more tasks that usually get put on the back burner happening, this time has been well used.
Work from our dedicated and selfless volunteers have saved their clubs thousands of dollars, which will help the bleed
that all clubs have been experiencing. The “rainy day” kitty has been raided as clubs have gone through the equivalent of a financial hurricane. Thank you to all the clubs who participated in Bowls Australia’s survey which is being used to put Bowls Clubs’ position to the State and Federal Governments for grant assistance.
In many clubs, our volunteers are overworked so it is important to have succession plans for the next generation of members. In a perfect world, job descriptions for each role are helpful, especially secretarial duties, technical notes for greens management, function bookings/planning and other tasks necessary for running successful clubs. Our clubs are businesses and if they are not financially viable, we no longer have a club.
As the majority of clubs are run mainly by volunteers, we need to make new members aware of their responsibilities when belonging to a club. New membership applications should include a volunteer section where potential members are asked if they have time available to volunteer and what skills they can bring to the club. This way, new members are made aware that volunteering is an expectation of their club membership.
National Volunteers Week was held recently in mid-May and because of the current situation, our unsung army of volunteers were not recognized as they should have been. Their efforts continue to be essential in keeping our clubs functioning during this crisis. Hopefully, in 2021, we will give them extra praise. If Bowls Queensland and Bowls Australia have their annual awards in 2020 please show your appreciation and nominate a volunteer who you think is worthy of this accolade.