Research Reports

SportEngland ClubCount Research Project (presented at meeting 7/3/18) SIRC-SE-NGB Affiliated Club Market Report Final Public

Carwyn Young presented this on 11/10/17

2017 10 11 Volunteer Coordinators Evaluation Report

This is a summary of research conducted 2014 to 2016.
It is developed in a journal paper, to be published in 2017.
Nichols, G., Findlay-King, L, Forbes, D. and Macfadyn, G. Little leisure centres and libraries in the Big Society: fighting closures or empowering communities as an alternative to the state? Leisure Studies.

Asset transfer – summary for practitioners
Nichols, G., Hogg, E., Knight, C., Mirfin-Boukouris, H., Storr, R. and Uri, C. (2016) Motivations of Sport Volunteers in England: a review for Sport England.

Motivations of sport volunteers – 29-1-16

Motivations sport volunteers -summary

Groom, R. , Taylor, W. and Nelson, L. (2014) Volunteering Insights: Report for Sport England, March 2014


Nichols and Forbes – transfer of leisure facilities to volunteer delivery 2014

Sport and Recreation Alliance sport club survey 2013

Sport and Recreation Alliance Club Survey 2013

Sport Makers Independant Evaluation April 2013

Community Life 2012/13 Cabinet Office


Sport and Recreation Alliance survey of clubs’ view of Olympic and Paralympic legacy – October 2012

SARA Olympic and Paralympic legacy survey, October 2012

Recruiting volunteers from outside your club – runningsports 2011

Sports Volunteering in Wales:  Final report

The Value of Sports Volunteering in Wales

Sports Volunteering in Wales:  Findings from two research studies

Paper to support the Community Strategy:  Committed Workforce

Paper to support the Community Strategy:  Thriving Clubs

Institute for Volunteer Research – evidence bank
Accessed: 15/01/2013.

Sport and Recreation Alliance (2011) Survey of Sports Clubs 2011.  London: Sport and Recreation Alliance

Sport and Recreation Alliance (2011). Red card to red tape: How sport and recreation clubs want to break free from bureaucracy
Accessed: 01/04/2011.

GHK (2010) Volunteering in the European Union.
Accessed: 22/06/2010.

This EU report identified a set of challenges to volunteering in general and to sport volunteers in particular.  These included the recruitment and retention of volunteers, professionalisation of the voluntary sector (meaning requiring volunteers to adopt practices of management and service delivery comparable to those in the private or public sectors), reacting to legal and regulatory frameworks, the production of information on volunteering, achieving sustainable funding,  managing a tension between state support and incorporating objectives of the state, achieving recognition for the work of volunteers, overcoming a prejudice towards voluntary engagement, and coping with a lack of a clear strategy in a fragmented political landscape (p254).  The three most important concerns raised by sport organisations were: the complexity and administrative burden of applying for subsidies, insurance and liability, and the low level of public funding (p256).   Clearly the pertinence of these challenges varies across the countries of the EU.

A recommendation was ‘networking to promote volunteering: encouraging research and exchange of good practice’ – hence the volunteers in sport projects, see 4 above.

The report included very useful annexes (national fiches) on sport volunteering in different EU countries.  These are accessible at (  the links are below –  you have to click on “UK” for the UK, etc.

National fiches on volunteering in sport:

Taylor, P., Barrett, R. and Nichols G. (2009). CCPR survey of sports clubs 2009
Accessed: 13/02/2011.

Gaskin, K. (2008) A Winning team?: the impact of volunteers in sport. London. The Institute of Volunteering Research and Volunteering England.
Accessed: 15/01/2013

Weed. M, et al. (2005) Academic review of the role of voluntary sports clubs. Institute for Sport and Leisure Policy, University of Loughborough.  Unpublished report for Sport England.
This review included 65 documents.  The main conclusion was that there was little research evidence!

Taylor, P., Nichols, G., Holmes, K., James, M., Gratton, C., Garrett, R., Kokolakakis, T., Mulder, C. and King, L. (2003) Sports Volunteering in England London: Sport England.
[summary and main report via google search, 7-1-13]

Allison, M. (2001) Sports Clubs in Scotland, Research Report No. 75, Edinburgh: sportscotland.

Gratton, C. Nichols, G. Shibli, S. & Taylor, P. (1997) Valuing volunteers in UK sport. London: Sports Council.

Warrior, B. (2002) Annotated guide to volunteers in sport and leisure
Accessed: 15/01/2013