Volunteerism is a central part of Australian society. Volunteering is culturally significant with its roots firmly entrenched in the history and development of the country. The importance of volunteering is reflected in the number of government and non-government agencies who have worked hard to establish and refine its definition which has provided legal status and stability for those who volunteer and for those who engage volunteers as a legitimate part of the workforce. In the sport sector, volunteers have been described as the backbone of the sport system. Sport relies heavily on volunteers – not only to stage sport events but also to deliver sport to the masses through a well-structured and formal network of community clubs and organizations. Australia’s hosting of large-scale events such as the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the 2006 Commonwealth Games, the 2007 FINA World Swimming Championships, and the 2018 Commonwealth Games has illuminated the value of volunteers, the reliance upon them, the skills that they contribute, the work that they undertake, and the contribution that they make to Australian society. Further, these events highlight how important engaging in volunteer roles can be to the health and well-being of those individuals. While events can be leveraged for volunteer outcomes, there is much more that can be done to capitalize on the attention that events bring to volunteers and the contribution that they make to society.
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