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What is the Role and Responsibility of a Sports Club Committee?

14 Feb 2024

It is not the role of the committee to run the club … it is the role of the committee to ensure the club is run.
Most people think that being on the club committee means you have to do all the work but nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is the most successful committees are those that have created a culture of volunteering and are therefore able to spread the workload effectively across their club.

What is the role of the committee?

A club committee is the group of people, 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.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors state that “to be effective a board needs the right group of people, with an appropriate mix of skills, knowledge and experience…..that fits with the organisation’s objectives and strategic goals.”

Responsibilities of the club committee?

Typically, when we ask committee members what their primary responsibility or objective is the answer is often:
“To leave the club in a better position than when we took on the role of committee member”
While this is a noble sentiment it is also simplistic in its nature because it implies that the only thing to be done is improve the club, when the reality is that the committee’s responsibilities are more complex and include:

  • Comply with all legislation, especially:
    • Association Incorporation legislation
    • Member protection, welfare and safety
    • Fund-raising legislation
    • Food handling legislation
    • Liquor licensing laws
  • Ensure the club is run according to its rules (constitution), purpose, policies and procedures. If you are on the committee it is really important that you have a copy of the rules, understand them thoroughly and run your club according to them. In many cases, the club rules will also define additional responsibilities for the committee and its office holder.
  • Oversee the financial affairs of the club, ensuring the club stays solvent. This means being able to pay your clubs bills as and when they become due.
  • Ensure the sustainability of the club most people link club sustainability simply to financial sustainability but it also relates to ensuring the club has a sustainable number of participants and volunteers, access to suitable facilities as and when you need them (both for social activities and sport participation) and often overlooked but vitally important is community support.
  • Create and manage a risk management plan that minimises risks associated with all club activities, not just the sporting risks
  • Define and deliver the club’s objectives and strategic plan
  • Create your club culture and ensure expectations are meet
  • Ensuring the sporting, competitive and social needs of members are met
  • Recruiting, empowering, recognising, rewarding and maintaining club volunteers
  • Creating and implementing a succession plan for all roles within the club. Ensure that the next generation of volunteers are being identified, developed and trained
  • Regularly communicate with club members
  • Collect, protect, maintain and hand over critical club information from one year to the next

It is a commitment but you get to choose how big!

Sports club committees carry not only the hopes, dreams and expectations of the club members but also a lot of responsibility. If the committee is also doing most, if not all, the day-to-day work around the club (as happens in most clubs) then chances are it does not have time to focus on the committee’s broader responsibilities or delivery of the club’s strategic objectives.
A committee doing “all the work” is likely to suffer burn-out and rarely is it preparing the next generation of volunteers so make sure one of the key focuses of your committee is to create a culture of volunteering at your club.

Information on this page is general in nature. Sports Community has made the best effort to ensure its accuracy. Please seek specific advice from your relevant club or authority.