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Projects with Promise

Vol. 27 No. 4

The Student-Athlete Volunteer Experience: An Investigation of a University Athletics–Community Sports Partnership

  • Cailie S. McGuire
  • Jennifer T. Coletti
  • Luc J. Martin
July 26, 2021


Within the Canadian university sports context, athletics departments are increasingly partnering with community sports organizations to promote youth sports participation, while simultaneously providing student-athletes with volunteer opportunities aimed at developing civically engaged young adults. The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of varsity student-athlete volunteers (n = 10) within a university athletics–community sports partnership program. Volunteers discussed their motivations to volunteer in the partnership program and highlighted various benefits for themselves (e.g., transferable skill development), the youth athletes (e.g., having relatable role models), and the institution and community more broadly (e.g., enhanced community outreach, credibility of programming). Key takeaways and practical recommendations are provided with the aim of fostering quality volunteer experiences within these partnership programs.