Community Scoop

Sport Hawke’s Bay encourages more people to volunteer

Press Release – Sport Hawke’s Bay

Sport Hawkes Bay encourages more people to volunteer for the sport and active recreation sectorSport Hawke’s Bay encourages more people to volunteer for the sport and active recreation sector

Events such as the recently sold-out Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay Marathon only go ahead due to volunteers.

To ensure both large and smaller scale events are successful Sport Hawke’s Bay has recently launched a new initiative, ‘Hands Up Hawke’s Bay’, to get more volunteers for the sport and recreation sector.

‘Hands Up Hawke’s Bay’ is a promotional drive to get more people to sign up to a centralised database and volunteer in the sport and active recreation sector.

One of the first to sign up was Sport Hawke’s Bay chairman Damon Harvey who volunteered at the successful Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay Marathon.

He signed up because he’s seen first-hand how important it is to have volunteers at events and as part of the local club sport community.

“The Air New Zealand Hawke’s Bay Marathon event was huge for the region, it’s got our community active and it is also bought in significant tourism dollars, we don’t want to lose these events. At a club level there is more and more reliance on volunteers too, you only have to look at club rugby which now requires sideline crowd control volunteers.”

“I think being a volunteer is a very rewarding role. I’m also a volunteer as chair of Sport Hawke’s Bay, and it has helped me keep in touch with what’s going on in the community and I get a real kick out of seeing the impact Sport Hawke’s Bay has on the community. To know I’m playing a small role in that is really rewarding.”

Following on from the success of the volunteer programmes established through Hawke’s Bay hosting Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup games, Sport Hawke’s Bay wants to support the volunteer sector by providing regular information and opportunities to those of the community who are interested.

In a recent report from Sport New Zealand, it is known that there are almost 37,000 adults volunteering in sport and active recreation each year in the Hawke’s Bay region. Regional sports organisations, clubs and event deliverers manage vast numbers of these volunteers. The ‘Hands Up Hawke’s Bay’ initiative is looking to increase this number and be a link between those wanting to volunteer and the opportunities available in the region.

Sport Hawke’s Bay CEO, Mark Aspden says, “We are really excited about the ‘Hand up Hawkes Bay’ launch as we see it as a great way to get even more people involved in volunteering in sport. Volunteers are the backbone of a lot of sport and without them it simply wouldn’t be able to happen. Thanks to the Lion Foundation, this is one way we are helping to grow what is already an impressive number of volunteers in the Bay”

In 2015 The Lion Foundation funded six regional sports trusts across the country in a joint volunteer initiative. Each regional sports trust has developed their own programme dependant on the needs of their community and one of the programmes to come out of Sport Hawke’s Bay has been the ‘Hand Up Hawke’s Bay’ volunteer programme.

Marcus Reynolds, the Lion Foundation Head of Partnerships Manager says “The Lion Foundation places strong value on supporting programmes and initiatives that make a real and lasting difference in the community. Based on current participation rates, this joint volunteer initiative that Sport Hawke’s Bay plays a large part in, can reach a far wider audience. It is this type of impact, we are proud to be associated with”

The Lion Foundation, one of New Zealand’s oldest charitable trusts, promotes its principles of doing the right thing for communities, fronting up to challenges and being stronger together through caring for people by supporting such enterprises to ensure their success

To sign up to the ‘Hands Up Hawke’s Bay’ initiative and join the mailing list, please email your name and contact number to


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