A community atmosphere doesn’t just happen, the club must create an environment where players and parents do more around their club than just the matches. Club leaders can start by knowing who’s who at the club. Learn about your members and introduce people to one another. Make it very obvious that the club and committee are interested in the members and your club will naturally find these opportunities.

This needs to comes from a genuine interest from the club to connect with members and needs to come from everyone including the coaches and captains, seniors and juniors

  • Equipping your People with Support

    Equipping your people with the confidence and resources to reach out and support one another in the club, is equipping them to do the same outside of it, too. Now, those are some serious skills.

    Step 1 – Become more aware

    Key people in the club need to be across the common well-being issues likely to be expressed in and around the club. Some recent survey research found that on average:

        • Kids tell 5 people before anyone does anything about their issue
        • 1 in 5 people are dealing with a mental health issue
        • Family violence is the fastest growing area of crime in our community
        • More than a million kids are living in households where their carers’ drinking is a concern, and about 10,000 of those children are in the child protection system as a consequence of their carers’ drinking
        • A third of all deaths of young men are due to suicide.

    Step 2 – Import some training

    This can be really tricky terrain for clubs. If someone confides in you, there are three important principles to adhere to: 

        • First, you need to respect their privacy. Loose talk is out of bounds. 
        • Second, you need to listen carefully and with the utmost sensitivity.
        • Third, you need to be able to suggest a way for the person to get help. This doesn’t mean you have to fix it, or that you have to be an expert or know what help is available, but you can ask their permission to take it to someone in the club who has relevant information of the available help for that person’s problem.

    A club should actively seek out relevant, authoritative professionals and ensure that all the key people in club are exposed to this level of education – including the coach, president and team manager.

    There’s a lot at stake here and your club needs to get it right. Make sure, at all times, there are strong understandings of basic do’s and dont’s when it comes to dealing with people on issues of health and well-being:

        • observing protocols
        • providing safe listening
        • preserving confidentiality and
        • responding effectively

    See Club Respect’s B.A.S.I.C guide for supporting members.

    Step 3 – Establish good liaison with health professionals

    Every club operates in local communities where there are health professionals and other experts who would be only too willing to lend a hand to a well-intentioned sports club.

    One surefire way to start this relationship would be to host a session at your club where you invite doctors, other health providers, teachers and counsellors to attend and brief your club on issues of well-being in your local community.

    You will need to ensure the qualifications and experience of your presenter. We suggest contacting the peak bodies responsible for providing information and support on mental health, such as Beyond Blue, for a list of preferred practitioners.

    Step 4 – Advertise community support services

    Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint these among many. If you are unsure of the best sources, start by having a conversation with someone in your local council community services area or with well-known health and well-being organisations. Post core information resources up in your clubrooms, on notice boards and on the club website.

    Step 5 – Bring in guest speakers

    There are always people who will be prepared to come to your club and share their insight and advice on topics regarding people’s well-being, on matters ranging from child and adolescent health, diet and nutrition, mental health, violence, abuse and healthy relationships. If you are unsure where to start, you can always contact the Club Respect team with a phone or email enquiry.

    Step 6 – Moment in time support

    Good practical support in the moment. It’s important that your club provides appropriate support if members and supporters become unwell or get hurt at the club.

    Put together reliable and up-to-date emergency information covering such things as strokes, heart attack, serious falls, or other accidents on site. The club should be vigilant about uneven surfaces, cracked paving, slippery stairs and so on.

    Provide an MPIO in your club.

    Member Protection Information Officers (MPIO’s) can act as a point of contact for people seeking support. They’re trained to offer independent information and advice. Play by the Rules offers a free MPIO training course.

  • A club-wide commitment

    Everyone connected to the club needs to commit to creating and maintaining a deep culture of respect, through ongoing positive action.

    Reminders as to why the commitment that we made is so important, serve us well in keeping going with it.

    Club Respect Pledge

    A pledge is a simple and powerful tool that binds each person to the club and one another. Everyone connected to the club gets to make the pledge, no matter who they are or what they do around the club. 

    Club Wide Positive Behaviour Matrix

    A matrix helps you to identify, communicate and maintain the positive behaviours that are expected in specific areas of your club. 

    Storyboard

    A storyboard expresses members ideas about the club’s direction; the journey so far and the future that lay ahead. 

    It’s a way to visualise your story. As such, it needs to align with your core mission and club values, and revolve around the pledge.

    Make sure that creating and adding to the storyboard is an ongoing, collaborative thing. Encourage everyone connected to the club to contribute to it if they wish to.

    Annual Club Event

    Hold at least one event (at the start of the season) to:

        • Create a sense of belonging
        • Reinforce the expectations that the club has around a respectful culture and behaviours
        • Acknowledge the valuable roles played by everyone at the club
        • Reflect upon the experiences of success across the club in building that positive culture.

How would you rate your club right now?

⭐⭐⭐

Club leaders believe in the club values and their behaviour matches it. The leaders can handle tough conversations and always respond respectfully.

⭐⭐

Club leaders show great commitment to the club and believe in fair play, but often they don’t behave in the way they tell others to.

Club leaders are loyal to the club and people admire them for it, but their behaviour is based on their own values (not the clubs).

Club leaders do not have much influential. Their behaviour and opinions do not reflect club values