Thank you for volunteering your time and expertise, and welcome to the Helping Hoops team. Your contribution is essential to allowing us to sustain and grow our programs, and fulfil the promise we have made to hundreds of children all across Melbourne on a weekly basis.

This guide will provide you with useful information about preparing to volunteer at Helping Hoops, and about our organisation, participants and programs to help you understand your role. If you are volunteering as a ‘Team Mate’, creative, events or behind the scenes volunteer, we will send you a seperate email regarding your role and what’s required.

1.1 About Helping Hoops

As a new member of our community, we encourage you to familiarise yourself with Helping Hoops.

Helping Hoops is an independent charity running free weekly basketball programs for over 1,000 children and young people facing various barriers across Melbourne. Over 400+ sessions per year benefit children and young people of all abilities aged 7 to 21. As a charity, Helping Hoops is not solely focused on improving skills, but also uses basketball to instil values that benefit children in their lives outside of sport.

Children attending Helping Hoops programs are from a refugee or migrant background, have an intellectual disability or are living on inner-city, high-rise public housing estates.

Helping Hoops focuses on building self-esteem, providing a sense of belonging and community, aiding social cohesion, instilling discipline, developing goal setting
 and leadership skills,
and promoting a 
healthy and active

Currently Helping Hoops programs are:

  • Fitzroy (public housing/migrant/refugee background)
  • Broadmeadows (intellectual disability/special needs)
  • Dandenong (migrant/refugee background)
  • Future Dandenong (upper-secondary aged young men & women, migrant/refugee background)
  • Croxton (intellectual disability/special needs)
  • Richmond (public housing/migrant/refugee background)
  • North Melbourne (public housing/migrant/refugee background)
  • Kensington (public housing/migrant/refugee background)
  • Werribee (migrant/refugee background)
  • Future Werribee (upper-secondary aged young men & women, migrant/refugee background)
  • Power Fawkner (girls and young women only, migrant/refugee background)
  • Power Kensington (girls only, public housing, migrant/refugee background)

Full program schedule and locations are available at

Along with our weekly programs, Helping Hoops runs school holiday tournaments and special events throughout the year. These include corporate & school programs along with small to large fundraising events. Helping Hoops is also an Official Charity Partner of Melbourne United Basketball Club & Basketball Victoria.

By now, you would have completed an online application form. If any of your personal details change, please contact Hanna Cruz at


2.1 Working With Children Check & Police Clearance

In accordance with the Working with Children Act 2005, all Volunteer Assistant Coaches must hold a valid Working with Children Check (WWCC). The WWCC assists in protecting children from sexual or physical harm by ensuring that people who work with, or care for, them are subject to a screening process. For more information, please head to

If you either already hold a current WWCC or have applied and are waiting for your WWCC. You will be required to reapply for a new WWCC if/when your current check expires and you are still volunteering with Helping Hoops.

If you do not have a current WWCC or have not applied for your WWCC, please contact the Operations Manager.

You are also required to undergo a National Police Clearance. Helping Hoops will facilitate this process and send you the documentation to complete in person or on-line.

2.2 Commitment

As a volunteer working directly with children, establishing and maintaining strong and meaningful relationships is key. This can only be achieved through consistent attendance. For this reason, Helping Hoops requires volunteers to attend at least 2 program sessions per month, with a minimum term of 3 months. Should your circumstances or schedule change, please notify Helping Hoops immediately.

If you are volunteering with Helping Hoops as part of our employer supported pathway, your commitment is for one full school term. During this school term we require that you attend at least 4 weeks consecutively at the start of term and a minimum of fortnightly attendance thereafter for the remainder of term.

2.3 Dress Code

All volunteers are supplied with a Helping Hoops Coach T-shirt and Jumper. Please wear this uniform to each session so participants can identify you. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes like active wear and runners.

2.4 Calendar

We are currently updating our process when it comes to the Calendar. For all important dates and events, please contact your Head Coach or Hanna.

2.5 Internal Communications

Each program has a WhatsApp group that is used for internal communications between head coaches and assistant coaches. We use this space to share program specific information, particularly if there is anything special about an upcoming session. Please use this space to communicate with the team, particularly if you cannot make it to a session or if you are running late.

If you do not already have WhatsApp on your phone, please download it for $0.99 from the app store. Add Hanna via 0404 708 681 and you will be added to your program group.

2.6 Key Contacts

Your primary contact is your program Head Coach, who will assist you with any program-related issues or questions. You may contact your program Head Coach via the WhatsApp group or directly (contact details are below). Please inform your program coach ahead of time if you are unable to attend a session or if you will be absent for an extended period.

Your organisational contact is Hanna Cruz, who will assist with matters not directly related to your program, or in situations where your program coach is unable to help.

Please find contact details below for all key contact people.

  • Hanna Cruz – Programs & Operations Manager: 0404 708 681,
  • Omar Coles – Coach: 0457 777 395,
  • Renee Clarke – Coach: 0407 201 868,
  • Kelvin Bowers ‘KB’ – Coach: 0409 226 717,
  • Tom White – Coach: 0400 403 330,
  • Teuila Reid – Executive Director: 0418 353 314,

Other Contact Information

Phone: 1300 851 810


Our address: Ground Level, 673 Bourke St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000


Instagram: @helpinghoops

Twitter: @helpinghoops



Each Helping Hoops program is staffed by a program coach and volunteer assistant coaches (that’s you!). Your program coach is in charge of supplying all equipment and cleaning equipment at programs.

If you are a creative, event volunteer and/or ‘behind the scenes volunteer, more guidance will be provided to you via email prior to commencing.

3.1 Session Format

Program coaches are responsible for planning and facilitating each session and ensuring Helping Hoops’ key values and social outcomes are delivered through fun and inclusive basketball activities.

As a volunteer, no planning or reporting is required, however please familiarise yourself with the below sample breakdown of a typical two-hour Helping Hoops session. Note that activities should change regularly and should follow an adequate period of warm up.

  • 5 minutes: Introduction – welcome participants and outline activities for the session.
  • 15 minutes: Warm Up – light warm up activity to prevent injury and have participants working together.
  • 15 minutes: Activity One – linked to at least one of the Helping Hoops key social outcomes.
  • 15 minutes: Activity Two – linked to at least one of the Helping Hoops key social outcomes.
  • 15 minutes: Activity Three – linked to at least one of the Helping Hoops key social outcomes.
  • 15 minutes: Activity Four – linked to at least one of the Helping Hoops key social outcomes.
  • 30 minutes: Game – finish with a fun game as a reward-for-effort.
  • 10 minutes: Huddle – review key lessons for the session, present MVP certificate or acknowledgement, give overview of next week’s session, and finish with a Helping Hoops break.

School Holiday Tournaments

A School Holiday Tournament is normally hosted for each program during the Term 1 and/or Term 3 school break. The tournaments provide an opportunity for participants to demonstrate what they’ve learnt in the weekly sessions and are a reward for their hard work during the school terms. It is a way for Helping Hoops to engage participants at a time where they are lacking the structure provided by school.

The tournaments will run at the program location, starting one hour earlier than the weekly sessions. The first hour is used for warm up, practice and sorting participants into teams. Tournament games run for 2 hours, using a double elimination fixture. Certificates and prizes will be handed out to the winning team and MVPs.

The exception is the Broadmeadows x Croxton School Holiday Tournament, which brings the two groups of participants and their families together on a selected Sunday during the April and September school holidays.

3.2 Participants

Helping Hoops participants primarily fall into these categories:

  • Migrant, refugee or culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD)
  • Special needs/intellectual disability
  • Residents of public housing
  • Asylum seekers
  • Marginalised children and young people

Helping Hoops participants range in age from 7 to 21, but the main age of influence is 7 to 15. The majority of participants fall into this 7 to 15 year age range. Helping Hoops Programs fall into 3 ‘branding’ categories:

1: Bounce (All Abilities and children ages 7-12, 2: Power (All girls and young women), 3: Future (Young people age 12-ish and up).

3.3 Participant-to-Coach Ratio

To ensure participants receive adequate attention, and are able to have their individual needs met at all Helping Hoops programs, there will be at least one coach or volunteer for every 10 participants present at a Helping Hoops program.

3.4 Values & Social Outcomes

Program coaches ensure activities are chosen in accordance with the age and ability of the group attending. All activities are linked to at least one of the below key social outcomes:

  • Fitness & Health: Teach participants to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle through sporting activities. Basketball-related drills, as well as stretching, warming up, and other appropriate activities.
  • Self Esteem: Provide an encouraging, affirming environment in which participants set and achieve goals, and embrace a positive self image. Activities that show participants a progression in their skills and abilities, as well as activities that challenge and reward children when they attempt something difficult or for the first time.
  • Sense of Belonging & Community: Provide an environment where participants feel they are valued and supported. Activities that rely on team work, working together to achieve a common goal, and enjoying a common activity as a group.
  • Social Cohesion: Provide an environment where participants from different cultural backgrounds are encouraged to play together and form friendships. Activities that mix participants and see them gain an understanding of their similarities and differencing while enjoying a common exercise or game.
  • Discipline: Instil positive work habits and good work ethic while challenging participants. Activities with a clearly defined goals that require participants to challenge themselves and step out of their comfort zone.
  • Goal Setting: Teach participants the value of setting goals, and the required strategies for achieving these goals. A drill or activity with a clear number or outcome set to ensure participants know what to aim for and what is expected of them.
  • Leadership: Place participants in a position that requires them to lead their peers and develop good leadership and communication skills. Activities that require participants to lead by example, keep their group focussed and on track, or encourage and teach their peers.

3.5 Acknowledgements, MVP’s & Ballers of the Month

At the conclusion of most sessions, an MVP acknowledgement is awarded to a participant. The MVP of the session is not the participant who displays the best skills or performs well athletically, but instead is someone who exhibits the values and lessons taught, or has shown improvement in attitude or effort. The program coach may consult with you and ask your opinion towards the end of the session before a decision on the session MVP is reached.

Normally, at the end of each month program coaches will ‘lucky dip’ all the MVP’s from the month and the name ‘pulled out of a hat’ will be awarded an MVP prize.

3.6 First Aid

First aid falls under the duties of the program coach, who is adequately accredited and carries a first aid kit at all times. Although you are not required to deliver first aid, please notify Helping Hoops if you hold a first aid certificate and are comfortable helping in this area should it be required.

3.7 Child Safety and Incident Reporting

Child safety is a top priority at Helping Hoops. If you witness or are involved in an incident that threatened the safety of a participant or participants, you must report it to your program Head Coach and complete an incident report form as soon as possible or within 24 hours.

Incidents classified as high risk include:

  • Verbal or physical abuse.
  • Injury requiring first aid.
  • Presence of threatening or intimidating individuals or unwanted third parties.

If a volunteer assistant coach is found to have compromised the safety of a participant, he or she will be immediately suspended while the incident is investigated and if found to be true, will be dismissed and reported to the relevant authorities.

For more information, please see the Helping Hoops’ Child Safety Policy.

You are responsible for the safety of our participants, but must also avoid putting yourself in harms way. The safety of our volunteers must also be protected. If you feel threatened or identify a potential risk to your safety or the safety of other volunteers, please report it to your program Head Coach and complete an incident report form as soon as possible.

Other lower risk incidents must be reported to the program Head Coach as soon as possible.

3.8 Reporting Incidents

Any incident classed as high must be reported within 24 hours by the program coach using an Incident Report Form. If you witness, or become aware of, an incident warranting reporting, please alert your program coach as soon as possible and ensure they are made fully aware of the details and circumstances of the incident. Incidents classed as high include:

  • Injury requiring first aid.
  • Abuse including verbal (racist, sexist or derogatory comments) or physical.
  • The presence of threatening or intimidating individuals or unwanted third parties.
  • Significant damage to facilities.
  • Stolen property.

4: Enrolment

Enrolment of new participants is conducted online via a form that can be accessed by program and assistant coaches at programs.

In order for any child (under 18) to participate in a Helping Hoops program a parent/guardian has to consent by completing an enrolment form online prior to participation. If a child comes to the program without a parent or guardian and wants to participate, simply ask them to get their parent/guardian. Participants with special needs also require consent from parent/guardian in order to join. Participants over 18 years of age can enrol without consent using the same enrolment process.

Completing the enrolment form online is a simple process. It can be completed online using your smart phone. If you choose to complete an enrolment online using your smart phone or a Helping Hoops iPad please ensure that you advise the parent/guardian that no information is stored on the device.


New participants to Helping Hoops have to enrol to the program and obtain consent from their parental or guardian. The enrolment application can be completed online, via their smart phone or on the Helping Hoops tablet. Please advise all parents/guardians that no personal information is stored on the HH device at any time, the enrolment site is cloud based and secure.

1: Go to: and complete the form. It normally takes 2-3 minutes to submit.

2: Again, remind parents/guardians that information supplied is not stored on the device.

3: Ask parents for the children’s details from the enrolment form or simply hand the device to them to complete.

4: Thank the parents for signing their kids up!

There will be times where your program coach asks you to assist with enrolment, so please familiarise yourself with this system ahead of time.

5: Your Role as a Helping Hoops Volunteer Assistant Coach

As a volunteer assistant coach, you will provide support to the program Head Coach and mentor participants.

5.1 You as a mentor

Our participants look up too and rely on our Volunteer Assistant Coaches. The most important part of being a Helping Hoops Volunteer Assistant Coach is being a good mentor for participants both on and off the court. You must lead by example at all times, exemplifying the values and social outcomes we at Helping Hoops try to instil in our participants.

5.2 Your Responsibilities

As the head coach is responsible for the planning and delivery of program sessions for up to 40 participants, they need assistance servicing the needs of individual participants – ensuring that each is safe and included.

The typical responsibilities of a Helping Hoops volunteer assistant coach are to:

  • Assist with setting up and packing down the venue.
  • Assist with enrolling new participants.
  • Assist with taking attendance/enrolment for each session.
  • Demonstrate activities and give extra instruction as required to participants.
  • Assist with behaviour management, including ensuring participants line up correctly, are listening, and do not engage in physical or verbal abuse.
  • Encourage and affirm good behaviour and effort of participants.
  • At school holiday tournaments, you will be required to coach a team of participants.
  • Assist with in any other manner as required by the head coach.

5.3 You as a Team Player

You are now part of a dedicated team of Helping Hoops coaches. The success of each session relies on effective cooperation and communication between the coaches. The head coach is responsible for planning, facilitating and reporting, including delegating tasks, and Volunteer Assistant Coaches are expected to share the above responsibilities amongst each other.

5.4 Our expectations of you


I know we’ve already mentioned this but it’s worth repeating! We require all our Volunteer Assistant Coaches to commit to at least 2 program sessions per month, with a minimum term of 3 months. We ask this of you so that you can establish strong and meaningful relationships with our participants.

We ask that when you are at each program you are present to the participants, parents, fellow assistant coaches and Head Coach and as best as you can therefore, keep mobile phone usage to a minimum whilst on the basketball court or the sidelines. The exception to this is of course reporting participant numbers, taking enrolments and at times taking authorised photo’s/videos.

We ask that you notify your program group via WhatsApp in the event that you can’t make a session or are running late as soon as you’re aware.

If can no longer maintain this commitment, please let us know. We understand that circumstances can change and that you might have to step down or take a break. Letting us know will help us plan accordingly and accommodate for your absence.

Effective Communication

Communicate with your program head coach and volunteer assistant coaches! It is important that coaches communicate with one another during sessions, but also in the lead up to session. Effective communication from our volunteer assistant coaches contributes to the collaborative effort that helps us continually improve our programs.

If you have any program specific questions or concerns, please raise it with your program coach privately. For any other questions or concerns, please contact the Programs and Operations Manager.

Furthermore, please be aware of and make a concerted effort to commit to the following expectations

  • Equality: ensure all participants are given an environment in which they feel they belong, no matter their gender, ethnic background, ability, disability, or other.
  • Appropriate Level: ensure Helping Hoops sessions are pitched at a level appropriate to the group participating, but still challenging for the majority of participants.
  • Rules and Boundaries: set clear rules and expectation for your participants and communicate these clearly and effectively so they know what is required of them.
  • Role Model: embody the values and principles you set to instil in your participants and lead by example.
  • Be on Time: arrive early and ensure your session is ready to start on time.
  • Model Behaviour: treat all participants, volunteers, parents, facility staff, and other people you come into contact with with respect and model the behaviour you expect from your participants. Keep mobile phone usage to a minimum whilst the program is underway.
  • Use your Initiative: step in and support your Coach if you notice he/she is under the pump. Do your best to participate actively and be ready to give help and support. We will always have your back! Show up at each session ready to participate!
  • Update Knowledge: maintain and update your qualifications, and constantly look to up-skill and be aware of innovations in the coaching field.
  • Social Media: use social media in a positive and collaborative manner. When taking photo’s or videos of participants please ensure that consent has already been received by a parent/guardian prior to posting. Also, when possible tag @helpinghoops on your stories, videos and posts. Note – Head Coach and your Operations Coordinator will let you know who is not able to be photographed/filmed.
  • Boundaries: set personal boundaries with your participants and always ensure you are not alone with an individual at any time.

A note on: WhatsApp: Please use this space to communicate any feedback or reflections about past sessions, suggestions for upcoming sessions, and importantly, if you cannot make it to a session or if you are running late. This information will help your program Head Coach plan sessions accordingly. If you choose to switch off notifications on your smart phone, please check WhatsApp a few times a week to ensure you are not missing out on pertinent information from us! 🙂

5.5 Induction Process

All volunteer assistant coaches must complete the induction process in accordance with Helping Hoops’ Volunteer Recruitment Policy.

You must:

  • Read your program specific handbook. (You’ve done this already!)
  • Attend a program session for a trial. (You’ve also done this already!)
  • Read the Helping Hoops Volunteer Assistant Coach’s Guide. (You’re almost done with this!)
  • Complete the Volunteers Agreement (nearly there!).
  • Complete the Volunteer Assistant Coach questionnaire (nearly there).
  • Attend at least 2 sessions per month for 3 months where you will receive on-court training and support as a Helping Hoops volunteer assistant coach.

5.6 Probation Period

All volunteer assistant coaches are subject to a 3-month probation period (equivalent to a minimum of 6 sessions), starting from the date of the first session attended. During these 3 months, you are expected to demonstrate that you are capable and willing to fulfil the responsibilities and expectations of a Helping Hoops Volunteer Assistant Coach.

After the 3 months, your program Head Coach will review your performance and give you feedback including any areas you can improve on.

5.7 Our commitment to you

Helping Hoops will strive to ensure that its volunteers engage in work that is safe, fulfilling and appreciated. For more information, please see our Helping Hoops’ Volunteer Policy.

5.8 Safety

The safety of our volunteers is important to us. If you feel threatened or identify a potential risk to your safety or the safety of other volunteers, please report it to your program Head Coach and complete an incident report form as soon as possible.

While volunteering, you are also covered by Helping Hoops’ Public Liability Insurance.

5.9 Collaboration

Helping Hoops values a collaborative approach. If you have any feedback, suggestions for improvement or concerns, please get in touch with your program Head Coach, the Program and Operations Manager or the Executive Director.

5.10 Recognition and rewards

 Helping Hoops relies heavily on our volunteers. Helping Hoops will regularly acknowledge the contribution, value and impact of volunteers at an individual and group level. References and statements of service will be provided to volunteers as requested.

5.11 Events and socialising

Throughout the year, Helping Hoops offers its Volunteers the opportunity to attend a range of Helping Hoops events and external events, including basketball games and pub dinners :-)…You will be notified of any upcoming events through WhatsApp or email.

5.12 Apparel

All Volunteer Assistant Coaches receive an Helping Hoops (Nike) T-shirt. Volunteer Assistant Coaches for outdoor programs will also receive a Helping Hoops Coach’s crewneck jumper.

All volunteers receive a 20% on Helping Hoops merchandise. To shop our merchandise line, head to and use the discount code “hhvolunt33rlove” at the checkout. All proceeds go back into Helping Hoops. Please keep this discount code on the down low.


There are plenty of ways you can help away from your weekly volunteering role.

6.1 Social Media

Make sure you engage with Helping Hoops on social media and help spread the word by telling friends and family. You can find us on:

6.2 Events

Helping Hoops runs several events throughout the year that require volunteers. Our largest event is the Charity Shootout which happens once a year. This event sees over 180 people register to shoot as many free throws as they can in 15 minutes while raising money for Helping Hoops. We also host a fundraising lunch called, Game Changers.

There are many other once-off events that may interest you. We will be in touch and put a general call out for volunteers closer to these event dates.

6.3 Membership

If you have friends or family who also share your interest in Helping Hoops, but are unable to donate their time, please encourage them to become a member and make a small monthly contribution. Further information on benefits is available at

7: Volunteer Questionnaire & Volunteer Agreement

Please take some time to complete these 2 online forms. The Volunteer Questionnaire is simply a multiple choice quiz. It’s super simple and easy to complete. It just helps us to know that you’ve read this handbook and are ready to really jump on board. The Volunteer Agreement outlines a few T’s & C’s type stuff. If you have any questions about these please let us know. Teuila will send you information on new COVID safe protocols we need to follow at all programs.