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National Awards for Volunteers in Sport

National Awards for Volunteers in Sport

Each year, thousands of individuals volunteer for sport in some way, devoting significant amounts of their own time and energy in the process.

Each year, thousands of individuals volunteer for sport in some way, devoting significant amounts of their own time and energy in the process. This may involve activities such as coaching teams, providing transport or playing some administrative role within the club or group. They seek no financial reimbursement. Rather, they simply do this for the love of their sport and dedication to their community. Without their selfless dedication week in week out, society and especially sport would be in a much poorer state.

Such tireless devotion and commitment deserves recognition and a response. Acknowledging the need to provide support to the work of volunteers, the Government wishes to provide encouragement to them and to honour their effort and contribution. The Government have launched the National Awards to Volunteers in Irish Sport in order to honour at national level individual volunteers in Irish sport. The focus of the awards is to pay tribute to the individual act of volunteering as opposed to a particular sport or club. In the context of new challenges facing the recruitment and retention of volunteers, the Government believes that the awards scheme represents the first step in raising the profile of volunteerism in sport, to provide encouragement to existing volunteers, and to reach out to potential new volunteers.

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To nominate somebody in your club download the form – click here. You will need Adobe.

The form is also available on the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism website http://www.arts-sport-tourism.gov.ie and the Irish Sports Council’s website http://www.irishsportscouncil.ie

Nomination forms should be completed and returned to the NGB or LSP or local VEC Sport Committee (where an LSP has yet to be established in the area) by close of business on Friday, 29 September.

Each NGB will consider all nominations received and select three nominations to go forward to the selection committee stage, with the exception of the GAA and Special Olympics Ireland (the NGBs with the largest volunteer base) who will put forward 5 names for consideration. Each LSP/VEC will also put forward three names. These nominations should be sent to Sports Unit 2, Room 304C, Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. The closing date for this stage is Friday, 27 October 2006.

A list of those selected will be considered by the Selection Committee to identify a short list of finalists.

-Eight successful award winners will then be chosen in January 2007.

-There will be an awards ceremony at the end of January 2007.

-The successful candidates will receive a special commemorative award.

Conditions for entry under the scheme

1. Each nominee must have served in his/her voluntary role(s) for no less than two years;
2. Individuals who receive pay in return for their services will not be eligible;
3. Groups/teams will not be illegible;
4. Officers currently serving in an official capacity with Sport National Governing Bodies, Vocational Educational Sport Committees or Local Sports Partnerships will not be eligible;
5. You may not nominate yourself for this award;
6. Individuals being nominated should be informed by the nominator;
7. The nominating club must be affiliated to a National Governing Body of Sport;
8. Being nominated for another volunteer scheme does not preclude entry under this particular scheme;
9. Successful candidates will be subject to Garda vetting.

The Awards Programme

The successful candidates will each receive a special commemorative award. There will be eight awards of equal value and no overall winner; it is intended that there will not be different categories of awards. The awards will target the full range of sports including those catering for special needs groups and reflecting the involvement of both men and women.

Awards Ceremony

A high profile awards ceremony will take place at the end of January 2007.

Selection Committee

A Selection Committee will consider nominations and choose eight successful candidates. The Selection Committee will consist of representatives of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, Irish Sports Council, Federation of Irish Sports, Local Sports Partnerships & VEC Network, Olympic Council of Ireland, Paralympic Council of Ireland, Volunteer Centres Ireland, the Taoiseach’s Active Citizenship Task Force and the Department of Education.

Selection Criteria

When evaluating the candidates, the Selection Committee will consider the following:

– Length of service as a volunteer
– Versatility
– Impact on the club or group
– Impact on the community
– Impact on the sport
– Overall merit
– Other qualities

Key Dates

– Nomination forms will be available to clubs and groups from Monday, 28 August 2006

– The closing date for submission of nominations by clubs and groups is Friday, 29 September 2006.

– The closing date for submission of short listed nominations to the Sports Volunteer Awards Selection Committee is Friday, 27 October 2006.

– Successful candidates will be contacted at the beginning of January 2007

– The awards ceremony will take place at the end of January 2007