1 BOARD / COMMITTEE STRUCTURE Rugby League Clubs are generally governed by a Board also known as a Committee. The Board / Committee is traditionally made up of a Chair or President, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and general Board / Committee members looking after other portfolios that are deemed appropriate such as Sponsorship and Fundraising Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and Media and Public Relations Coordinator. The Board / Committee is the senior decision making group within the club and manages the club s affairs on behalf of the members. The Board / Committee s major responsibilities are: Administration Financial Management Risk Management Leadership The duties of the Board / Committee include: Ensure the constitution, objects, aims rules and regulations of the club and the decisions and bylaws of the Board / Committee are respected and observed at all times. Monitor the corporate affairs, governance and policies of the club. Obtain and maintain a general understanding of the business of the club. Undertake regular reviews of the financial position of the club, and make further enquiries from those reviews if necessary. Ensure that the club has an effective Risk Management Program and policies in place. Oversee the club s planning initiatives for the club s short and long term development. Meet regularly on agreed dates. Form partnerships with relevant parties. Appoint Delegates if required. Board / Committee size and composition There are no hard and fast rules regarding Board / Committee size. It should be appropriate for the size of the club. Five is a good rule of thumb for small to medium sized clubs. If the Board / Committee is too large it may prove to be too cumbersome and ineffective. Many modern Board / Committee structures consist of a smaller group/s that relieve the main Board / Committee of certain tasks by capitalizing on the specialist skills of members within the club who are willing to contribute their time and expertise to complete a certain task. The group/s reports to the main Board / Committee regularly.
2 DELEGATES In the day-to-day administration of a Club, functional responsibility is vested in the elected Board / Management Committee. The Board s functions and powers are detailed in the relevant legislation (incorporated bodies) and/or the Club s constitution. Further detail on conditions for the exercise of powers may be contained in the Club s by-laws. Subject to these general rules, the Board may, for the sake of operational efficiency or effectiveness, assign some of its functional responsibilities to an individual club member or a group of club members (a subcommittee). Any Club member so appointed is referred to as a Delegate. In matters of Club administration, a Delegate is a representative of the Board with authority to undertake specific tasks or representative duties. The Board should record such appointments in the Minutes of a Board meeting and provide the Delegate with a letter of appointment setting out the scope the delegate s tasking, including any conditions or limitations set by the Board for the exercise of the power it has delegated. A Delegate must respect the scope of the delegation granted and act, at all times, in good faith seeking to achieve the best outcomes for the Club and its members. A formal process of delegation is highly recommended because any act, or thing done, or suffered, by a Delegate, duly appointed and acting within the scope of his/her delegated powers, has the same force and effect as if it were done, or suffered, by the Board.
3 SAMPLE RISK MANAGEMENT AND SAFETY CHECKLIST To demonstrate that your organisation has an effective Risk Management Program in place, it should be able to answer YES to the following questions. Does your Rugby League organisation: Yes No Have a documented Safety and Risk Management Program that identifies hazards, evaluates risks and controls risks? Ensure personnel / members are aware of the program and use it? Have documented policies and procedures in place, with all personnel aware of their existence, understanding them and using them? Have responsibilities defined in regard to safety and the management of risk e.g. specified in job descriptions? Include Safety and Risk Management on its Board / Committee meeting agenda at least every three months? Report on discussions in regard to Safety and Risk Management in meeting minutes? Have a Safety and Risk Management position or responsibility included in its management portfolios? Make the identity of this Safety and Risk Management officer known to all members, inviting them to refer safety issues to that officer? Have management periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the Safety and Risk Management system through review meetings, statistics & incident reports? Effectively communicate risk and safety information through all levels of the sport e.g. newsletters, meetings etc?
4 Does your Safety and Risk Management program include the following YES/NO elements? Yes No Policies Personnel Participation Player Preparation Injury Management Facility / Equipment Safety Contracts Legislation and Standards Policies that address: physical/ health hazards e.g. infectious diseases, climatic conditions, head injuries, non-physical / health hazards e.g. member protection, discrimination, harassment, child protection, Code of Conduct and complaints handling. Appropriate procedures for the recruitment of coaches, officials, sports trainers etc. Procedures must address the following issues: Accredited personnel education / accreditation updating, job descriptions, Code of Conduct, police checks for child protection, performance reviews. Appropriate guidelines regarding participation e.g. the use of waivers, children in sport, Safeplay Code, Code of Conduct, protective equipment and rules of the game. Appropriate practices in place in regard to preparing players for participation in Rugby League e.g. planning of programs, screening, pre-participation physical conditioning, skills training and supervision. Appropriate practices in place in regard to prevention, treatment and management of injuries. This should address the following issues: first aid plans and policies, first aid resources, emergency treatment e.g. spinal injuries, treatment facilities, injury referral, treatment administration, return to rugby league after injury, record keeping, data collection and usage. Periodic safety inspections of all facilities and equipment (with checklists). Must address the following: regular major inspections of all facilities and equipment, pre-activity inspections, compliance with standards, signage, lighting, fire, safety evacuation/emergency plans, disabled access, security equipment positioning, use of protective equipment, use of barriers and hygiene. Awareness of and compliance with the terms of contractual obligations. Must address the following: contract administration, review of contracts prior to execution and complying with terms of contracts. Awareness of legislation and standards to which the organisation must comply. Must address the following: a compliance review program, complying with legislative requirements and legal advice sought where necessary.
5 CLUB RISK MANAGEMENT POLICY STATEMENT Our policy is to use world s best practice in Risk Management to support and enhance activities in all areas of our organisation and to ensure that Risk Management is an integral part of our decision-making process. We will use a structured Risk Management process to minimize reasonably foreseeable physical, financial or legal harm to people, disruption to operations and damage to the environment and property. We will identify and take advantage of opportunities as well as minimising adverse effects. We will train our people to implement Risk Management effectively. We will strive to continually improve our Risk Management practices. Process A Risk Management procedure has been established based on the Australian Standard AS/NZS 4360:1999 and Handbook HB 246: These will be used for guidance by everyone involved in the application of Risk Management. The Board / Committee will facilitate the development of a common Risk Management approach across all areas of our operation by: implementing the Risk Management program; sharing information with broad applicability across all areas; and reporting on the progress of implementing the Risk Management program. Monitoring and Review The Board / Committee will monitor and review the implementation of the Risk Management program. Responsibilities The Board / Committee is responsible for the implementation of the Risk Management process and ultimately responsible for the management of risks in the organisation. All personnel are responsible for managing risks in their areas. Administrators will have a different view of risk to that of a player or referee, but each has an important personal responsibility to ensure that risks within their control are managed according to the rules of the games and the standards expected. EVERYONE HAS RESPONSIBILITY FOR RISK MANAGEMENT! For further information on this policy and the Risk Management procedures, contact (name) on (phone number) or ( address). Signed: (name): (title):
6 PLANNING It is imperative that Rugby League Clubs plan to plan. It is recommended that the following areas of risk be covered in all planning: Membership Sporting success Safety Finance Compliance Image and reputation. Benefits of Planning Planning your club s future will help you to: Prioritize goals and objectives Establish performance and evaluation criteria Assess progress Ensure a professional approach Secure funding and win sponsorship deals Identify promotion and marketing strategies Allocate resources more efficiently Show what your club can offer potential new players / members Help volunteers and staff better understand the business of running a club Involve members in decision-making therefore improve team morale
7 PARTNERSHIPS Managing external relationships and working with stakeholders is a major responsibility of the Board / Committee. What is a Partnership? A partnership is simply an agreement between two or more parties specifically designed to address a local issue or capitalize on an identified opportunity. A partnership identifies the issue and outlines resources, services or actions that each party agrees to provide or undertake. Ideally, partners will have a symbiotic relationship with each other and achieve their own outcomes as part of the local solution. The common ground within an issue is the starting point for developing a partnership. What makes a Partnership work? A commitment from the relevant parties to be involved A willingness of the parties to work together The development of a simple document that enables the parties to see the way forward Partners know that the resources and services that are required will be made available Partners undertake all actions expected of them Partners communicate with each other about what they are doing One person or organisation takes a leadership role How do I develop a Partnership? Identify The issue / opportunity Potential partners Engage Consult and engage with the partners What involvement are the partners likely to have: provide information; consultation; or participation Who is the local contact person? Is there an obvious leader to drive action? Develop Identify desired opportunities and outcomes Identify resources / services and actions required and where can they be sourced Identify timelines and project milestones Identify who is responsible for specific outcomes Agree on a management group who will oversee the partnership and ensure it stays on track Write up a Partnership Agreement Implement Commence the work identified in the partnership Communicate your actions so that partners know that you are active Review and Evaluate Schedule times or dates to review progress on the partnership Evaluate the success of the partnership against outcomes
8 What issues do we have that a Partnership might address? Facility development Facility capacity / usage Public Relations Who could be part of a Partnership? The options for partners in a partnership are endless. The involvement of partners will depend upon the local area and what services or resources they can bring to the Partnership. Examples of some partners may include: Local Councils Other sports organisations Government agencies Sports clubs or associations Schools Registered clubs Media agencies Corporate organizations
9 PARTNERSHIPS - LOCAL GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES / COUNCILS Following is a list of ideas that can be utilised for the development of/or further existing relationships between clubs and Local Government Authorities (LGAs) / Councils. The outcomes are to promote your Club, improve / cement relationships and gain mutual benefits. 1. Make contact with your League General Manager. Discuss leasing agreements with regard to your Club s home ground. Establish what relationship / history the League has with the LGA; contact person etc Inform General Manager of your intention to form relationship with LGA (they may wish to be involved) 2. Make contact with the LGA introducing your club and requesting a meeting to discuss your club and future planning issues. Direct call to the General Manager / Manager of community events/facilities/leisure/sports development/recreation. Party should include the Club President and/or Secretary and consider taking a high profile rugby league community identity e. g. former player/coach/administrator 3. For the meeting, prepare a document on Your club history (including significant achievements) Current administration structure i.e. your volunteer base Player numbers stating growth/decline research reasons Current Council facilities utilised and their standard Prediction of demographics (conduct research) influence on player numbers and resulting demands thus the need to be proactive for the future e.g. fields facilities 4. Provide an overview of rugby league structure Coaching and officials accreditation requirements Code of Conduct for players/officials /spectators Crowd control measures Low cost registration fees research fees from other sports 5. Prepare a partnership proposal Outline potential benefits to the LGA/council e.g. raising community awareness of contribution of LGA /council to the community, positive publicity of LGA/council in local media Positive publicity at local club games e.g. ground announcements / signage Offer to help staff volunteer at LGA / Council events e.g. community days, multicultural day etc. 6. Request regular meetings With appropriate LGA / Council staff member Attendance at monthly LGA / Council meeting as an observer or participant stating reasons such as LGA / Council issues with facilities / lighting/ standard of grounds/ change rooms/canteen/storage/awareness of council promotions/events.
10 CLUB / LEAGUE AMBASSADORS Every Club / League has a person who has achieved success in Rugby League as a player, coach or official. Such people can be of great assistance in promoting your organisation, and are often waiting to be asked to be involved in ambassadorial roles. Following is a template letter which can be utilized in the recruitment of a Club / League Ambassador. <Club details> Date <Name> <Address> Dear Re: <Name of club/league> Ambassador Rugby League is a leading sporting activity in our district and we wish to advance our performance in community and public relations. In this area, we would like to address the following opportunities and issues: Developing / further enhancing relationships with our local council/s. Identifying / approaching potentials sponsors. Mentoring officials. Acting as a mediator / facilitator on specific issues. Help promote and generate publicity for our club. As you are a long term rugby league person possessing great experience and a high profile in our wider community, our club asks you to consider being our Honorary Ambassador to assist in some of the areas listed above. The time involvement would not be extensive, but your knowledge, experience and profile would be of great assistance to our club. In the next week, I will call to discuss this concept, but should you have any comments / questions, please contact me on <phone / address>. We would be honored to have you as our appointed ambassador which in turn will greatly assist us deliver a more enjoyable and safe sport that will benefit our community. Yours in rugby league, <name> <position> <club name>
11 SAMPLE EMERGENCY PLANNING PROCEDURES Emergencies (i.e. events that can cause extreme harm to life and property) can happen at any time. Examples are fire, violence, serious accident, and severe injury to players anything that poses a safety threat to players and/or other participants and spectators. A comprehensive emergency plan should be in place so that response to these situations is delivered according to a well documented, drilled and executed emergency procedure. Such procedures often involve many more people than just the medical / first aid personnel that attend Rugby League activities. All Rugby League organisations have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for those in attendance. This includes having a clearly documented plan that outlines the actions and processes that need to be fulfilled in an emergency situation. All players, coaches, managers, officials, sports trainers, parents and patrons will be notified regularly about our emergency procedures. Roles and Responsibilities Below is a sample emergency plan for a Rugby League Club In the event of a medical emergency, the assigned people will assume the following roles, responsibilities and duties as outlined below: - Ground Manager / Emergency Coordinator <insert name> The Emergency Coordinator is responsible for the coordination of all response actions in regard to the emergency. These actions include ensuring emergency personnel as outlined are available for attendance at an event, direction of personnel and the general flow of care at the emergency incident and completion of tasks, including record keeping, after the incident. The Emergency Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the emergency plan are fulfilled before, during and after the event. This includes checking on the condition of the injured party/s after they have left the sporting facility and following developments in regard to the incident until such time as it has come to a conclusion. Sports Trainer <insert name> The appropriately qualified (minimum Level 1) Sports Trainer is responsible for ensuring that all required first aid equipment and resources are available at the venue (supplies well stocked), the location of the resources is known and they are easily accessible. The Sports Trainer ensures that the address and contact details of the nearest medical centre and hospital are known and displayed at the phone to be used for contacting Emergency Services. The Sports Trainer must be present at the event at all times and is responsible for providing first aid treatment in the event of an incident. Ground Manager / Crowd Control Official <insert name> The person responsible for crowd control should clear the area of other participants and / or spectators and of any equipment that may be in the way to ensure Emergency Services access to the injured parties and ease of evacuation.
12 Communication Coordinator <insert name> The Communication Coordinator is responsible for contacting emergency services e.g. ambulance, fire brigade, if required and provide them with the following information: - victim/s details, exact location of the facility and the specific point of entry into the facility. With regard to ambulance services, it is likely dispatch will want to speak with the primary care giver (Sports Trainer) to obtain specific information about the injured party. The Communication Coordinator should then obtain an estimated time of arrival of the emergency services and communicate this to the Emergency Coordinator. The Communication Coordinator is responsible for ensuring access for Emergency Services is kept clear. The Communication Coordinator is also responsible for contacting parents, legal guardians or next of kin following an incident. The type of information conveyed to them should be a description of the incident, the condition of the injured person, the transport arrangements made (if any), the current location and any immediate future location (e.g. hospital) of the injured person. Medical details should only be conveyed by, or with approval from, medical personnel. The Communication Coordinator must have access to a mobile telephone. In instances where the people as assigned above are not available, an appropriately qualified alternative representative will fill their role. Leadership The Emergency Coordinator (refer above) will be responsible for ensuring that all aspects of this emergency response plan are adhered to before, during and after the incident. First Aid A sports first aid kit is located at (insert location). Signage identifies the location of the first aid area. The Sports Trainer is responsible for checking the first aid kit weekly and keeping it stocked in accordance with the first aid kit checklist. Communication Everyone should be aware that the Communications Coordinator is responsible for contacting Emergency Services if required and only that person should contact them. Everyone should know that the location of the nearest phone is at (insert location), where a list of emergency telephone numbers is also located plus directions for Emergency Services in regard to access to the facility. Access and entry points for emergency vehicles must always be kept clear. Contacts All players / officials must supply the name and contact details of guardian / next of kin at the commencement of each season. Contact details are to be kept on file and accessible during games and training. It is the responsibility of the Communication Coordinator to conduct guardians / next of kin in the event of a serious injury to a player / official.
13 Reporting All incidents must be well documented, which is the responsibility of the Emergency Coordinator. A full incident report form should be completed. The Sports Trainer should immediately complete an injury report form following treatment of the injured player. The incident and injury report forms will be filed with the club secretary as official club documents and will be retained for seven years. A copy of the incident and/or injury report forms will be provided to relevant parties (e.g. insurance company, affiliated local council or facility owner). Reporting documentation will be reviewed to provide a basis for the orderly evaluation of a situation after it occurs and the subsequent follow-up actions that may be taken. Regular Risk Management reviews will be conducted to assist in the maintenance of all emergency and safety procedures. Match Operations Where a match is stopped due to an emergency circumstance, the following steps should be taken: - As the emergency is a time out (unless carnival / event rules dictate otherwise), a direction will be given by the referee regarding field position, possession and tackle count at the time of the cessation of play. If the match continues within a reasonable time, play will continue as with any time out with the same field position, possession and tackle count. If the match cannot be continued within a reasonable time, then the referee, in consultation with the Ground Manager and club management, will make a decision as to the postponement or cancellation of any scheduled match.
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