SVRN research seminar looks to return after successful first event in Wales

by Ethan Harris

AFTER a successful first event held in Cardiff, the UK Sports Volunteering Research Network is open to a return to the Welsh capital.

Dr Geoff Nichols of Sheffield University founded the network in 2006 as a means of getting researchers and practitioners in sports volunteering together.

Dr Nichols was pleased with the turn-out in Cardiff, which offered an opportunity for those based locally to attend an event they may not go to in London, where it is usually held.

“I thought we had a great attendance from people in Wales. This is the first event we’ve done here, hosted by Sport Wales, so it’s really good to get about 40 to 50 people which is great.

“Sometimes we’ve done recent events where we haven’t had as many people. We always get a lot of people coming into London, so in terms of our point of view of running the event, it was very successful.”

With a whole host of guest speakers involved on the day, continued research and developments in volunteer work will no doubt mean there will be much more to discuss.

“There were probably, apart from the committee members, about five or six people that we’d expect to attend a corresponding event in England, so it’s a little bit of a dilemma for us actually,” he continued.

“We could almost repeat this kind of event with the same speakers in London. We’ll definitely come back to Wales sometime in the future. If we develop our relationship further with Sport Wales then it may be possible to run an event just based on them.

“The crux is actually getting sufficient speakers that are interesting enough to the audience that are coming.”

With the event looking at the importance of volunteering and social impacts relating to sport, the seminar will next travel to England to continue sharing research.

“The main purpose of these meetings is to exchange information between researchers and practitioners.

“We all want to increase the amounts of sports participation and encourage volunteering in sport, so the whole idea of the network is to increase the link between the two and that’s because most academic work happens pretty much in isolation.

“There’s not enough relationship practitioners and from a practitioner’s point of view they don’t really know where to pick up on the academic side as well, so it’s important that you have an exchange between the two.”

Further details of the work of the SVRN can be found here.