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Good Sports research launched: female volunteers in sport

Our latest research Good Sports, highlights the disparity between male and female volunteer roles, perceptions, motivators and barriers in sport. The research was led by Dr Leanne Norman from the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett University and funded by Sport England.


Sports organisations and groups attract the most volunteers in society, with 54% of all formal volunteers involved in sport[1]. However, data reveals that men are more than twice as likely (30%) to volunteer in sport than women (14%)[2].

The Good Sports research looks to further understand what motivates women to engage in volunteering and what benefits and challenges women face in the sport sector. 54 volunteers were interviewed from a range of sports and from sports clubs, parkrun and non-sports groups.


The key research findings highlight the often-discriminatory experiences of women in core market sports such as boxing or rugby, which are particularly associated with male participation. It also raises the challenges women face in certain volunteer roles such as coaching, due to the time demands and expectations of the roles and often having to balance family commitments too.

Good Sports provides recommendations to improve the volunteer experience for women in the sports sector, including auditing volunteer roles to reflect on how they portray gender stereotypes and increasing flexibility of the roles.


Read the key findings HERE

[1] NCVO (2016) UK Civil Society Almanac

[2] DCMS (2015) Taking Part 2014/15 Quarter 4 Statistical Release