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What to consider before becoming a secretary

14 Feb 2024

So, you have been asked, or are thinking of becoming club Secretary.
Congratulations, it’s a hugely important role and a great honour that can make a positive difference to many people.
Before you become Secretary, make sure you consider some of the challenges that lie ahead.

Impact of the role on your family

In today’s world the role of being on a club committee can be a 24/7, 365 days a year task.  The demands on your time can be significant so you must consider how this will affect your family.  We strongly recommend you have a discussion with your family and what this will mean to them. Will you expect them to also join you in club activities?

Understanding your own motives

Why are you considering the role? Is it to support the club and contribute to your community? Is it simply your turn? Do you enjoy the title, responsibility and power? Is there something you want to see achieved? All of the above are very valid reasons. Although, to do a good job you need to understand both your own motivations and balance these off against the needs of the club.

Keep in mind most secretary roles at local clubs are voluntary, so you will be giving something up, whether it’s time or money (or both), in order to perform the role, so make sure your motivations are clear and consistent with the needs of the club.

How will you get the information, knowledge and skills you need for the role?

While it certainly helps to have some experience in a similar role it is certainly not compulsory. In fact, some of the best secretaries entered the role with little or no experience.

Before you become Secretary, consider how you will empower yourself to be an effective secretary from day one. Are there past secretaries or experienced club administrators that you can talk to? Do you have friends doing a similar role at another club? It doesn’t matter if they are secretaries of a club participating in another sport, they will have valuable insights on how you can successfully undertake the role.

Of course, one of the most important ways to get the information you need is to become a Sports Community member so you are continually getting the latest news and information. There are also a number of online training courses in the Sports Community website shop especially for club secretaries and their committees.

Understanding your objectives for the club

What do you want to achieve as Club Secretary? How will you look back on your time and say whether you were a successful Secretary?
If you are going to take the role it is important to agree with your new committee immediately on what the objectives of the club are for the next couple for years, if they are not already in place.

Keep in mind, you are not just going along for the ride, your tenure and legacy will be judged by others so it is important that you have clear goals and objectives in place.

Make this a priority when you assume the role and communicate your plans to the wider club community so everyone can see where you heading and why decisions are made.

Have a look at our Delivering Club Objectives worksheet + more HERE

Who is going to be in your team?

An important thing to realise is that you don’t have to handle this on your own. We strongly recommend that you create a number of assistant secretary roles and recruit people to reduce the pressure and workload of the role.

Club rules and responsibilities

Make sure you have read the club rules and understand the responsibilities of the role. It can save you a lot of time and grief if you take the time to read your club rules. We guarantee some of your members already know them inside out.

Are you ready to inspire?

Whether you like it or not, your fellow committee members, your players, members, supporters and the community will be looking to you as one of the leaders of the club.

Succession planning

The greatest recruit a Secretary can ever make on behalf of the club is the next Secretary. So, from day one in the role you should be looking to identify and prepare the next Secretary. Remember, it is your responsibility to leave the club in a better position than when you took on the role.
It all sounds rather daunting, but if you consider each of these areas before you become Secretary, it will ensure that you enjoy your time as a successful club Secretary.