Most community football clubs struggle with attracting volunteers to run the teams and the wider club and end up relying on a few dedicated people doing too many things.
But, we also experience volunteer-friendly clubs where parents get involved with a lot a specific, often smaller, jobs, as bite-sized volunteers.
One of those clubs is Buckley Town Junior FC (BTJFC) where they seem to have considerable support and involvement from many of the parents of the 370 junior players.
One of the challenges the club face is a considerable workload from coaching, communicating with players and parents and running the team and sessions which all tend be a bit overwhelming and often the number of tasks they have to perform on top of the straight forward coaching responsibilities can divert their attention.
Also, the various practical aspects of running the team including entering tournaments, organising trips and generating income detract from the coaching responsibilities and possible require characteristics and skills which may differ from the skills required for a great coach.
To help resolve this problem BTJFC now operate a network of Parent Reps who work alongside the team coaches taking over all the 'non-coaching aspects’. They have certainly experienced that parent reps also help spread the workload so the pressure on individual volunteers can be eased.
Emma Iball, Secretary at BTJFC said: “Every team has a Parent Rep who works alongside coaches within that team. We wanted to let the coaches do what they do best and let them concentrate on the training sessions and games without any interruptions. The Parent Reps have improved communications between the team players and parents and the wider club. The do an amazing job in organising the paperwork, arrange away trips, tours and fund raising events. This has all improved the player, parent and coaches experience.
The good news is that the parent rep does not have to be a 'football-person'; you can even claim that perhaps it shouldn't be”, Emma says. “They need to be interested, good communicators, have empathy and time. They are invaluable.
There is little doubt that BTJFC’s volunteer-friendly approach is paying off.CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT ALL ABOUT OUR MORE THAN A CLUB PROGRAMME