Getting policies right is the first thing your club should do when aiming to move to a more inclusive framework. Good policy offers clear direction and guidelines for everyone involved in the sport and will help to set realistic and consistent goals and objectives. Your club’s policies should reflect the rules and processes of the relevant government agencies as well as those of your governing sport.
Your club should also have a Member Protection Policy in place to protect your participants, administrators, coaches and officials from harassment, discrimination, child protection issues and other inappropriate behaviour, and processes to deal effectively with complaints.
Also develop and communicate your club’s position and policy on issues such as racism, sexism, disability, religion and homophobia. Ensure all members, their families and spectators are aware of your codes of conduct and behaviour expectations in these areas.
Play by the Rules has set up free online training courses on member protection and face-to-face workshops are organised in various states and territories that train people to become Member Protection Information Officers. Encourage your members to do these courses and be aware of your club’s member protection policies and complaints resolution procedures.
Remember, policies are only useful and effective if they are promoted and communicated to all members. A code that sits on a shelf in a clubhouse or is buried deep on a website is useless and ineffective. Often, in the process of discussing and developing policy, clubs are able to really examine issues and devise effective solutions.