Volunteers are the backbone of the nonprofit and voluntary sector in Canada. The act of volunteering represents an important tradition in a country which projects a powerful global image of inclusion, diversity, and policy innovation. Volunteering offers individuals of all ages an opportunity to foster meaningful engagement and create community change. Volunteers are central to the operations of amateur sport organizations and events in Canada where sport volunteers get involved for many reasons such as helping their sport and/or community, using their skills and experiences, and because they are often passionate about the sport themselves or are parents of children who participate. Sport volunteers take on many diverse roles, such as coach, referee, official, or administrator, and offer their time and dedication in episodic or continual roles. This chapter reviews the characteristics of Canadian sport volunteers and the key factors shaping the volunteer experience.
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