1. Introduction

Informed Consent Form: The Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity (CSPPA) Study

Project Title: Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity Study

Project Investigators: Dr. Catherine Woods and Dr. Niall Moyna (Dublin City University), Dr. Deborah Tannehill (University of Limerick), Dr. Julia Walsh and Mr. Paul Kelleher (University College Cork)

Project Sponsors: Irish Sports Council

Research Area of Interest: Physical activity has been shown to be extremely beneficial to young people. Effective sports and physical activity programmes rely on a deep understanding of the forces and influences that affect children to become and remain active. In this respect, volunteers represent an important area of interest for policy makers given that they are at the heart of many sport and activity programmes in Ireland. Without volunteers, sport would be unaffordable and the variety of sports and physical activity options would be limited. Significant others, such as coaches, parents, and sport leaders also influence the decisions young people make about participation and long-term engagement in sport and physical activity. On behalf of the Irish Sports Council, we invite you to take part in this study to help us better understand various aspects of volunteering. The more people that take part in these surveys the better-informed policy makers such as the Irish Sports Council can be about the key issues affecting volunteers and clubs in their efforts to encourage children’s participation in sport and physical activity. Your co-operation is therefore most appreciated.



For the purpose of this study, a “sports volunteer” is a person doing ANYTHING in a sporting or recreational physical activity context for the benefit of children and youths between 4 and 18 years of age, other than playing, where no payment was received other than expenses.


A sports organisation or club involved in delivering sport and recreational physical activity programmes for children and youths.

Further queries: Contact Paul Kelleher (UCC) at 021-4904187 or 086-3951995;

Consent: Participation in this questionnaire indicates that you have read the consent form and are giving us permission to use the information for the CSPPA project.

* 1. Have you been a volunteer in the last 12 months for sports/physical activities targeted at children (4-12 years old) or youth (13-18 years old)? For the purposes of this questionnaire, being a "sports volunteer" means doing ANYTHING in a sporting context, other than playing, for which you have received no payment other than expenses. Tick the boxes where you spend the greatest amount of your time volunteering for children or youth sports.

  4 -12 year olds (Male) 4 - 12 year olds (Female) 13 -18 year olds (Male) 13 - 18 year olds (Female)
Dance (Irish, ballet, jazz, modern, tap)
Dancing (social, recreational)
Gaelic Football
Gymnastics, Trampoline
Hockey (Field, Ice or Roller blade)
Martial Arts

* 2. Continuing to think about the above volunteering, which of the following would best describe the organisation(s) where you volunteer?

  Please tick appropriate box
National Governing Body (NGB)
Sports club
Youth organisations
Community Games
Sports organisation for people with disabilities

* 4. Thinking about the above organisations in question 2, which of the following roles have you carried out in the last 12 months? Please only include it if you did it as a volunteer. You can tick more than one role.

  Please tick appropriate boxes
An administrator role such as chair, secretary, committee member, Club Captain, President
A financial role such as treasurer or fundraiser
Coached children or youths
Managed children/youth team
Refereed, umpired or officiated at any children/youth competition
Provided other practical help such as transport for children/youths to take part in events, stewardship, helping with sports kit/equipment or first aid

* 5. How long have you been volunteering with the organisation?

  Please tick appropriate box
One year or less
1-2 years
2-3 years
3-5 years
6-10 years
11-15 years
16 or more years

* 6. How often have you carried out this volunteering within the past 12 months?

  Please tick appropriate box
Very occasionally
A couple of times per year
One or two days a month
One day a week or more

* 7. On average, how many hours a week did you spend on this volunteering?

  Please tick appropriate box
1-2 hours
2-5 hours
6-10 hours
11-15 hours
16-20 hours
21 hours or more
Not applicable (e.g only major events, not a weekly commitment)

* 8. During which months of the year did you undertake this volunteering in the past year?

  Please tick appropriate boxes

* 9. Volunteering Motivations
Why did you choose to become involved in volunteering in sport and physical activity? Tick any boxes that apply.

  Please tick appropriate boxes
Desire to continue involvement in sport after playing/participating career ended
As an alternative to full-time paid employment
Because my children took part in sport
To help my local community
To meet people/make friends
Because of a passion for sport
I wanted to start an organisation
To learn new skills
I enjoy working with young people
A pathway into coaching

* 10. Enjoyment and Satisfaction
How much do you agree or disagree that you get these things out of being a volunteer?

  Strongly agree Agree Neither agree or disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don't know
Enjoyment, pleasure and fun
Satisfaction from helping the organisation function successfully
The chance to put something back into the organisation or sport

* 11. How is your volunteering organised? How satisfied are you with these aspects of being a volunteer?

  Very Satisfied Fairly satisfied Neither Fairly dissatisfied Very dissatisfied Don't know
Training I've received or access to training courses
Social events and socializing
How well I am supported, mentored and managed as a volunteer at the organisation
Recognition for my contribution as a volunteer

* 12. Do you have a qualification or have you received training in the role you are currently fulfilling? (Example: Coaching qualification, administration training, etc.)

* 13. Personal Bonuses
Have any of the following statements increased or decreased for you as a result of volunteering?

  Increased greatly Increased Stayed the same Decreased Decreased greatly Don't know
My confidence, self-esteem or self-management
Skills like teamwork, communication, leadership, or technical skills
My health, well-being or fitness

* 14. Money Matters
How much do you agree with these statements?

  Strongly agree Agree Neither agree or disagree Disagree Strongly disagree Don't know
The expenses I incur as a volunteer are not excessive, or ARE adequately reimbursed
I have access to free training, tickets or kits
Volunteering has improved my performance at school or work, or my career prospects.

* 15. Social Scene
How much do you agree or disagree with these statements?

  Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree Don't know
I have gained friends and contacts through volunteering
I have a greater sense of trusting other people
I've got involved in other local activities because of volunteering

* 16. Being part of things
Have the following increased or decreased for you?

  Increased greatly Increased Stayed the same Decreased greatly Don't know
My sense of community and belonging
My understanding of people from different backgrounds or cultures
My particpation in other leisure, sporting or cultural activities

* 17. Volunteering Challenges
Which of the following issues affect your voluntary work for the organisation? Tick all that are important to you

  Please tick appropriate boxes
1. There are not enough other people willing to volunteer
2. Things could be better organised so you feel your efforts are not wasted
3. Your work as a volunteer increasingly requires specialist skills
4. There is little time left after paid work
5. Demands placed on volunteers are by professional staff working in the organisation.
6. The organisation is asking more of you because of pressures from other organisations (e.g NGB)
7. You are less motivated now that your children are no longer involved
8. The demands of volunteering conflict with your family commitments
9. There is no recognition or acknowledgement by the organisation for your efforts

* 19. What are your attitudes to young volunteers (16 - 24 years)?
How much do you agree or disagree with these structures.

  Agree Disagree Neither
Young people are important to the organisation and should be recruited as volunteers
Young people are risky as volunteers because they are more unreliable than older volunteers
Young people have too many demands on their time to volunteer
The experience of volunteering is good for young people
Not many young people are interested in volunteering at this organisation
It would take too much time to train, mentor and support young volunteers

* 20. What do you feel are the best features of the management of volunteers at the organisation and what areas need improvement?

* 21. Please fill in the following details, they will be kept completely private but will help us build a profile of Irish volunteers working with children and youth.

Are you:

* 22. If training was available for volunteers what knowledge and skills would you like to develop?

* 23. How old are you?

  Please tick appropriate box
24 or under
65 and over

* 24. Number of dependant children under 16 living at home?

  Tick appropriate box
Three or more

* 25. Age of youngest dependant child over 2 years?

  Tick appropriate box
2 - 4 years
5 - 9 years
10 - 15 years
16 - 18 years

* 26. How would you describe your ethnicity?

  Please tick appropriate box
White Irish
White Irish Traveller
Any other white background
Black Irish
Black African
Any other Black background
Asian Irish
Any other Asian Background

* 27. Do you have any long-term illness, health problem or disability that limits your daily activity or work?

* 28. Does this prevent you from taking part in sport & exercise?

* 29. What is your employment status?

  Tick appropriate box
In full-time employment
In part-time employment
In full-time education

* 30. If you have any further comments about volunteering that you would like to make please write them in the box.

* 32. Would you like to take part in a focus group discussion (in your local area) that further explores the role of volunteers?

* 33. Would you like to be entered in a draw to win one of three €100 Champion Sports gift vouchers for sports equipment?

* 34. If you answered "Yes" to questions 32 and/or 33, please fill in your details below.