Latest Hot Topics
28 March 2012
Your rights and responsibilities
Your club's AGM is over and you've just joined the committee. What now? Where do you start? What are your responsibilities as a club administrator and what are your rights?
Firstly, congratulations and thank you! People who volunteer their time as club administrators are the backbone of community sport in Australia. The job can be daunting to start with, but the experience can be very rewarding. You may even learn some new skills and discover hidden talents.
All members of your club, as well as those who have a non-member role (such as spectators, visiting teams, and some administrators) have personal rights that should be respected and upheld. These include the right to be free from abuse, discrimination or harassment, and to be treated with dignity and respect.
Club administrators also have responsibilities - the number one being: to create and maintain a positive, safe and healthy club environment.
It is also your responsibility to choose the right people to be involved with your club and ensure that coaches and other personnel meet child protection requirements (such as screening and working with children checks).
As a club administrator, you have the responsibility to develop and implement policies to protect these rights. To help achieve this, there are two key resources which all sporting clubs should develop and make available to their members.
Member Protection Policy
This is an important document which should include policies and practices that protect members (athletes, coaches, officials, administrators and volunteers) from harassment and abuse, as well as procedures for effectively dealing with issues and complaints.
Before developing a Member Protection Policy, check with your state, territory or national governing body as they may have specific policies your club is required to comply with. They may even have a document you can use as a starting point or you can download the easy-to-use Play by the Rules Member Protection Policy template.
Guidelines for working with children
All clubs should provide guidelines for working with children to help ensure the safety and security of child participants. The document also serves to protect coaches and other personnel from risk in their dealings with children.
A good policy should outline the procedures to follow when dealing with complaints or more serious issues. You could start by taking a look at the Play by the Rules Working with Children Guidelines template.
Education and communication is the key
Sadly, many important policies and documents sit on shelves gathering dust or exist only on one person's hard drive. Your responsibility to protect members does not stop with the successful development of an excellent policy. Use it, read it, promote it, and make it available for others to consult. Good communication and education is the key to a successful policy, you could:
• post policy documents on the club's website or social networking page and invite discussion
• give copies to coaches and officials to read
• hold a workshop to discuss the key elements
• print summaries of the key points in the club's newsletter.
The Play by the Rules website is packed with useful information for administrators: templates, guidelines, interactive scenarios and links to additional resources, as well as a Club Toolkit, which includes 10 important templates specifically designed for sporting clubs. With this support and guidance you and your club are sure to succeed!
In April, Canberra’s soccer leaders watched on helplessly as an online betting agency offered...
Aussie stars unite to stamp racism out of sport in new TV CSA . . . The Australian Human Rights...
Next time you’re playing sport have a look around - how many women do you see? Do women hold...
How far should a coach go to ‘bring out the best’ in an athlete. And what should clubs do to...
Your club need funds to turn a brilliant idea into reality? Competition may be fierce on the...