Effective club governance and administration is the back bone of sports clubs. Without strong leadership and good administrative practices, clubs become dysfunctional and poorly organised.
There are many areas that are covered by Club Administration; this is not an exhaustive list, but a good step towards understanding how a Club operates.
It is essential that your club have a good strategic plan and operational processes to provide a clear basis for the direction of the club, ensure the club is meeting its purpose as outlined in the constitution and support long term success and sustainability of the club.
A strategic plan is a document that contains the long-term (two to five year) objectives of the club. It lays out the overall mission and direction of the club and how objectives will be achieved. There is no right or wrong strategic plan. It is simply a plan for what you would like to achieve in your club.
An operational or action plan is a document with all the tasks intended to be completed in the short term (within the next 12 months) as per the strategic plan. This includes allocating roles/responsibilities
and time frames. This can then be broken down into sub-plans if required . Regular meetings should be held to ensure accountability and review progress. New action plans should be set at the deadline of the previous one, to continue working towards the overall strategic outcomes.
A funding and/or financial plan is a necessary part of strategic/action planning.
CRNZ have created some resources below to assist clubs with strategic/action planning.
Sport New Zealand also have useful information and resources/templates for club planning
A committee is the group of people who are elected, according to the rules or constitution of the club, to run the club on behalf of the members to achieve the goals and objectives of the club.
A committee’s function is to provide strategic direction, make decisions about actions, tasks and issues and manage the day-to-day operations of a club.
It is essential to have a strong committee with delegated roles, so that not one person becomes over-burdened. The committee should have a president or chairperson, a secretary and a treasurer. Beyond that your committee structure should depend upon your own club’s needs.
Committees should have balance of gender, ethnicities, interests, experience and age to ensure all your members/ participants have a voice.
Club committee meetings should be held regularly to ensure the effective running of the club. Usually monthly or 6-weekly is sufficient. The secretary should take minutes of these meetings and provide action points from the meetings. It’s a good idea to ensure names are assigned to action points so as committee members are accountable for action. Action points should be followed up at each meeting.
An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an open meeting which must be held as required by the constitution. AGMs are open to all club members and are held to update your membership and make decisions that affect what your club does and how it is run.
AGMs are an opportunity to:
Maintaining the financial viability of your club is all about ensuring the amount of money coming in is equal to, or greater than, the amount going out. Effective financial management means you can invest back into the growth and development of your club and provide better services for your members, and are prepared for unexpected financial costs .
The size of your club will determine the financial management processes and resources that need to put in place ie whether accounting / membership management software is required or what level of financial experience/accountancy skills are required by the treasurer.
Although the Treasurer is generally the person who manages the finances, good financial management relies on the entire committee. The Committee needs to discuss and agree to a set of standards and procedures to operate the finances for their club. This can be documented into a Financial Management policy.
Club funds can/should come from multiple sources:
A funding plan outlines when funding is required, potential sources for the various funding requirements and appropriate timelines and allocation of tasks for sourcing.
All clubs must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) which means that your club has the duty of care to maintain a safe environment and implement sound health and safety practices for all staff/volunteers, members, participants, guests & bystanders. HSWA has a key focus on proactively identifying and managing risks to avoid harm from occurring.
Your club must have documented H&S Policies and Safety Management Systems/plans outlining how it will ensure the health and safety of anyone involved in its activities. These systems should include hazard/risk management, safety checklists, emergency procedures and accident reporting.
The Committee should allocate a Health & Safety Officer to make sure the club understands and is meeting its health and safety responsibilities. Their role is to ensure the club’s health and safety policies implemented, maintained/reviewed and are followed.
An important component of maintaining a quality club culture is to set standards of acceptable behaviour. An important tool for defining and communicating acceptable standards of behaviour is a documented Club Code of Conduct.
A Code of Conduct is only worthwhile if it is not only read but understood by everyone within the Club; and they support and act within the Code.
This is a useful document for new members to a Club. This is a good way for the club to gather information about the paddlers such as medical details, date of birth etc.
In the event of an emergency, especially with children, emergency contact details must be readily available.
Aktive Auckland have produced a wide range of FREE resources to support clubs, that is relevant, applicable and available to all clubs, not just Auckland-based. https://aktive.org.nz/resource-hub/
Sport New Zealand have provided advice and templates to assist in club management/governance, as well as many other areas
Community.net- Community Resource Kit