Crowd at sports event

We provide advice to help you ensure your club is well organised and maintained.

Fun is the number one motivator for young children in sport and in life.

  • Forget winning and focus on fun. If they're having fun you can teach them just about anything.
  • Help them to develop broad physical skills like balance, agility and coordination.
  • Incorporate some sport-specific activities, but only if they're fun and they maximise participation.
  • Plan a variety of activities to keep them engaged and give them plenty of time to learn new skills.
  • Don't talk too much! Children are much better at doing than listening. Keep instructions short and simple.

Be fair and inclusive

Give everyone a go, regardless of their skill level or ability. The key is participation.

  • Be a role model. By displaying a sense of fair play, you are teaching them the same valuable lesson.
  • Modify activities and games to make sure you are catering to everyone.
  • Be supportive; praise them for the things they do well.
  • Give all children your time and attention, not just the most talented ones.

Make it safe

We may think they are made of rubber but young children do hurt themselves and others when playing sport. Not only are they less coordinated and have slower reaction times than adults, they are less capable of assessing risk, so may unknowingly take risks that result in injury.

  • Use proper equipment and safety gear that is the correct size and fits well.
  • Make sure all equipment is properly maintained.
  • Ensure playing fields and tracks are in good condition so kids are less likely to fall or trip.
  • Avoid over-use injuries by ensuring that coaching programs are appropriate for the age, maturity and skill level of the athletes.
  • Match children with activities according to their age, size, skill level, physical and emotional maturity.
  • Include supervised warm-up and cool-down periods and make sure they drink plenty of fluids.
  • Make sure only qualified personnel attend to injuries.

Set boundaries

Every child who takes part in sport must be able to do so in a fun and safe environment, protected from physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Coaches should:

  • maintain appropriate physical boundaries
  • stay in control and don't lose your temper
  • avoid transporting athletes and make sure parents are clear about collecting their children
  • have clear guidelines for photographing children.

Develop effective policies

All sporting clubs should develop clear, comprehensive policies aimed at protecting children and ensuring their sporting experience is positive.

For more ideas visit

  • Appoint one key sign-on contact person for all advertising and enquiries
  • Update advertising material: banners, logos, website
  • Order a portable EFTPOS machine for payment, prepare change money and receipt book
  • Advertise sign on day
    • Local school newsletters
    • Newspaper
    • Social media e.g. facebook
    • Community Noticeboards
    • Community Radio
    • Flyer drop (get your members involved in this one!)
    • Display or sign-on at local shopping centre
    • Through your local council
  • Contact previous members to inform of sign-on
  • Update website with registration process
  • Set up an attractive display on your sign-on e.g. photos, banners, shade tables and chairs
  • Set up an information desk with welcoming volunteers and forms to record names/contact details
  • Introductory package organised e.g. Player Handbook, Member Rules
  • Uniforms ready and if possible a change room available for try-ons
  • Ensure club representatives are recognisable e.g. club shirt, name tags
  • Consider conducting some Come and Try activities with the club's coaches
  • Have merchandise available for purchase if applicable
  • Ensure all appropriate forms are available e.g. medical, photo consent
  • Organise a fundraising BBQ or event in conjunction with the sign-on
  • Conduct a sign-on competition to encourage fees to be paid by a certain date
  • Consider combining the sign-on with a working bee to update facilities
  • Have a 'Volunteers Skills Register' for parent to complete

Sponsorship and sport go hand in hand.  Sport needs corporate dollars to survive and grow, whilst business gains from supporting their local communities and associating their brand/s with positive local images.

Attracting sponsorship can be a difficult process.  Following are some steps that can help you find and then hopefully retain a range of sponsors.

  1. Identify a Sponsorship Coordinator for your club.  This person will be responsible for everything related to sponsorships.  It is imperative that your club looks after your sponsors, which will be so much easier if a dedicated Sponsorship Coordinator that isn't also trying to coach teams, cook sausages or run meetings.
  2. Look past the obvious logo and signage benefits that are easy for you to provide to a potential sponsor.  Think of opportunities for sponsors to interact with your club members to promote their products, provide samples, develop relationships, and create incentives to choose things they can offer to your members.
  3. Whilst cash is great for not-for-profit clubs, it doesn't always need to be money as your club can benefit from other sponsored arrangements.  Sponsored advertising is going to spread the word about your club or event, discounted stock will allow you to sell products with a higher profit margin and the provision of a quality venue gives you a place to hold attractive social and fundraising functions.
  4. Give prospective sponsors options, outline 4-8 different sponsorship opportunities your club can offer. Start with the big one, generally the 'Naming Rights' that includes all the bells and whistles for a significant investment, through to easily provided vouchers or donations that can be used as prizes or volunteer rewards.
  5. Presentation is critical! You need to ensure you provide professionally presented information packages that include brief information about your club or event, plenty of pictures, and your future plans.  Use dot points to avoid long paragraphs and remember to incorporate a list of each sponsorship opportunity, its respective benefits, and the key contact details.
  6. Build a relationship with a potential sponsorship target before you make an official approach. Find out the name of a person you can speak to personally, so that you can meet to create a rapport and paint them a clear picture. If you're genuine and they like you, you'll be more likely to close the deal.
  7. After the negotiating is done it is agreement time.  Remember to record everything that has been agreed upon to ensure there is no confusion down the track.  This is an important step in retaining the sponsor in future years.
  8. As the old saying goes, it is much easier to keep a sponsor than find a new one, so if you say you're going to deliver something, - deliver it!  Treat your sponsors well, support them and go out of your way to include them in your club.  It certainly doesn't hurt to over deliver where you can.

At the end of the day remember that the best sponsorship arrangements are built on a solid relationship that allows both partners to get the most from the agreement.  This is sometimes harder to achieve than it appears.  Without being pushy your Sponsorship Coordinator needs to get sponsors along to functions to ensure the partnership leads to greater return on investment and increases the emotional attachment between the sponsor and the club.

The Club Health Check is an online self-assessment tool aimed at helping clubs examine how they are operating. The checklist looks at a number of different factors that are crucial to success at club level and together these factors are used to build an overall picture of the way your club carries out its operations. The assessment should take no more than 30 minutes to complete. Once you have answered all questions, a detailed report will be emailed to you which will identify improvements and growth areas for your organisation. 

We recommend the assessment be completed by 2 or 3 people within your committee and preferably 'key' people who have an overall perspective of the clubs operations and activities. 

To start the checklist, please click 'Begin'

Membership databases and websites can make collecting information and communications with your members very accessible and effective. Up-to-date information can be generated quickly to all members through the following resources:

  • email (individual, group, club)
  • e-newsletters
  • reports (financial, membership, club)
  • calendar of events (club, state, national, international)
  • meetings (dates, distribution of agendas and minutes)
  • surveys and questionnaires
  • coaching clinics, official's clinics, selection clinics
  • competition results (club, state, national)
  • release of policies, such as selection policies, member protection policies, constitutional, policies
  • alerts to any special offers, deals and opportunities on offer to your members

One of the goals of a membership database is to help you get to know your members and to identify any changes or trends in your membership base so that your club can respond accordingly. For example, if there is a decline in your membership you need to be able to work out whether it is men, women, juniors or particular age groups that are leaving your club so that you can address this. The database could also help you keep record of the following:

  • fee register
  • contact list for sponsors of the club
  • breakdown of club member details: age, gender, skills, occupation, emergency details
  • past players and history
  • list of suppliers and government contacts

If you were to embark upon a membership drive, the database can help you identify gaps so that you can target particular categories of members. The bottom line with any information gathering system is the ability to answer the question "What do we know and how do we know it?

Tasks before the AGM

  • Read the constitution
  • Follow up with accountant for financial information & ensure the final report is accepted at a committee meeting
  • Arrange meeting location & time
  • Send out notification of the meeting according to your rules
  • Send out notification of resolutions & agenda
  • If necessary send out proxies
  • Update your membership list & ensure you know who is entitled to a vote
  • Organise complimentary activities to attract attendees e.g. a free BBQ or nibbles, activities for kids, an awards ceremony to recognise volunteers, a guest speaker or workshop.

Tasks at the AGM

  • Ensure proxies or voting rights are established when people enter the room (better to ask them to be sent before the meeting)
  • Make sure everyone signs the attendance register & keep a copy
  • Address the agenda & notified resolutions only (if you allow proxies, you can’t change anything even if no proxies come back)
  • Ensure “handover” takes place properly e.g someone is there to chair the meeting during elections
  • Don’t forget you may need a 75% majority of eligible voters for a SPECIAL resolution to be passed
  • Allow enough time for questions on the audit or financial reports
  • For ordinary resolutions (everything other than Special) use the rules

Tasks after the AGM

  • Prepare the minutes as soon as possible
  • Make sure you know where the attendance list is and keep it with the minutes for next year
  • Notify Fair Trading about any changes in the committee
  • Submit your annual report
  • Advise your insurance company or Association of new committee members
  • Safely store the attendee book if you use one
  • Arrange for some training between outgoing committee and incoming

Three essential tips

  1. Give plenty of notice
  2. Be organised
  3. Make it appealing

A typical agenda for the AGM might include

  • Welcome by chairperson
  • Apologies
  • Confirmation of minutes of the previous AGM
  • Business arising from the minutes
  • Correspondence
  • Chairperson's report
  • Treasurer's report and presentation of audited financial statement
  • Chairperson stands aside if required
  • Election of Office Bearers
  • Appointment of an auditor
  • General business
  • Guest speaker
  • Date of next meeting

Most volunteer turnover occurs at the end of the season or at the time of the annual general meeting (AGM). A succession plan is necessary to provide opportunities for potential leaders within organisations to be identified and developed in readiness to move up into leadership positions. Organisations that plan for smooth transitions of leadership positions are less likely to experience disruptions to their operations and can better position themselves to replace volunteers who vacate their current positions. Remember, the main indicator of good practice in volunteer management is volunteers that feel valued and part of the organisation. If this is the case, those volunteers will be more likely to want to contribute to that organisation again.

The aim of good volunteer management practices is to enhance the performance of volunteers because volunteers who feel they are achieving their goals are more likely to feel satisfied about their involvement with the organisation. The cycle of need fulfilment, positive reinforcement and satisfaction is what good volunteer management practice is all about.

  •  Smile, say hello and thank you to your volunteers on a regular basis
  • Send welcome letters when volunteers are first recruited- Include volunteers in organisational charts

  • Write letters and post cards of thanks to volunteers
  • Write letters of reference and include details of service
  • Provide identification pins, badges, shirts or caps
  • Provide discounted memberships to volunteers
  • Acknowledge and profile volunteers in newsletters
  • Present volunteer awards at annual general meetings or awards ceremonies
  • Feature your volunteers at special events throughout the year (eg: state championships; national league games; family days)
  • Provide complimentary tickets to volunteers for special events functions
  • Send get well, birthday and Christmas cards to your volunteers
  • Arrange discounts at local sport stores or restaurants for your volunteers
  • Have a volunteer of the month award
  • Name events or facilities after long serving volunteers
  • Award life memberships for long serving volunteers
  • Reimburse out-of pocket expenses for volunteers
  • Acknowledge the efforts of volunteers during committee meetings
  • Hold special "thank you" or social functions in honour of volunteers-
  • Present volunteers with a special memento recognising their service to the organisation
  • Farewell volunteers when they move away from the area or leave the organisation
  • Provide meal and petrol vouchers to volunteers-  Arrange for free or discounted use of facilities
  • Present special awards for 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and more years of service 

Source: Recognising Volunteers – Active Australia Volunteer Management Program; Australian Sports Commission

(The following information is sourced from the Australian Sports Commission)

Succession planning is vital to the continuity of your club. It ensures your club can continue to be successful and provide members with what they need. While some turnover of jobs is normal, high turnover rates can be a problem.If the workload falls to only one or two people, the quality and fortunes of the club can quickly decline when those people leave. A succession plan will ensure that if someone steps down, someone can step into their shoes and pick up where they left off. Organisations that plan for smooth transitions of leadership positions are less likely to experience disruptions to their activities.

Keys to a good succession plan

Many of the components of a good succession plan will also help other areas of the club. These will usually cover how things are done in the club, such as:

  • having job descriptions so that current volunteers know what they should be doing, and what might be expected of new volunteers
  • having a business or strategic plan so that anyone who is new to a committee can find out exactly what the future priorities are
  • having a policies and procedures manual so that volunteers know how everything should be done.

The second part of good succession planning is human resources. Many of the above issues relate to people, whether it is fearing change, staying around for too long, or being the ‘gatekeeper’ (see description below). Trying to avoid any of these situations is as important as trying to groom successors for certain positions. This ensures that when the time for a changeover comes, it can be managed with a minimum of disruption and fuss. The ideal succession plan will allow existing volunteers to walk away without being missed.

Barriers to succession planning

There are some barriers to succession planning that your club might face. There may be some committee members or volunteers who are behaving in a certain way, or the committee may have processes that will not make succession planning easy.Some common hurdles that might prevent effective succession planning are:

  • The gatekeeper — a person on the committee who has probably been around for a while who holds all the knowledge and runs a system only they understand.
  • The irreplaceable person — a member who believes they are irreplaceable and the committee will not function without them. This person usually has been on the committee for years.
  • Poor record keeping — if important information, such as financial data or minutes of meetings, is not documented and made accessible, it is only retained in the memories of those involved in the process. Once these people leave, so does the information.
  • Seniors take all — clubs that believe that those around the longest deserve the best positions will always have trouble with succession planning. Positions should be awarded to those best able to do the job, including newer or junior members if they have the required skills.
  • The longtime committee member — a member who has reached their ‘use by date’.
  • Fear of change — if the committee is fearful of change, there will be a reluctance to have a succession plan in place.

For help with the development of your club's succession plan contact our Sport and Recreation Development team on 131 872.