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 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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
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. They have strong personalities that gets stuff done. Their behaviour is based on their own values (not club values).
Club leaders are loyal to the club and members appreciate them for it, but often they don’t behave in the way they tell others to.
Club leaders do not have much influence. Their behaviour and opinions do not reflect club values.