Your values are the ideas and behaviours that you want to live your life by.

They are not luxury touches only for the good times.

Your mission statement reflects your club’s values. If you’re intent on building a club which is respectful, safe, fair, fun and successful, spell these out as key values, then focus on translating them into everyday actions around the club.

They’re not something just to be listed, but lived and practiced everyday.

When a club momentarily loses its way, it’s the clarity of the club’s values that help bring it back on course.

Establishing your club’s values is your opportunity to elaborate on the club’s mission.

Listing heaps of values won’t help. It’s about getting to the heart of your practice.

If you haven’t already, check out your club’s mission statement and see what values are listed or inferred.

Are these the best reflection of what your club stands for?

If not, it’s time to meet with the committee to review the club values.

  • Clarify Your Club's Mission

    When we talk about a club’s ‘mission’ we’re talking about capturing the very essence of your club – its purpose, driving values and aspirations.

    A mission statement is meaningless if it is a hollow collection of nice words and phrases.

    A clear, strong mission statement is a powerful guiding force – especially when it is put into practice.

    A club aspiring to be a place of deep respect, safety and fairness has to make sure this is captured clearly and persuasively in its Mission Statement.

    Everyone in your club needs to know and understand the club’s values, ambition and common purpose if they’re going to put these values into practice.

    A Club Respect Mission Statement is:

    • explicit in its references to fairness, respect, equality and safety
    • short, relevant, inspiring and motivating
    • crafted and agreed upon by all members
    • visible to all at any time
    • practiced by everyone, every day.
    • regularly referred to, reviewed and up-dated.

    A missed-opportunity Mission Statement is:

    • one that remains silent on respect, fairness and safety
    • passive, hollow and generalised
    • made for the sake of having one
    • not visible to everyone
    • not seen as the central business to the club, rarely mentioned or referred to.

    Here are 2 well-articulated mission statements, from a local and an elite club, that you might like to use as a starting point:

  • Develop Your Mission Statement

    Your club’s mission sets the ambition and expectation for all members.

    So, it should reflect the views of all of your members.

    Everyone should have the opportunity to contribute to its development and amendment.

    This democratic process, along with a club-wide zero tolerance for abusive and discriminatory behaviours at the Mission Statement’s core, is putting your club’s strongest foot forward. 

    Step 1 – Listen to your people

    Engage people in developing an authentic statement about your club’s intent and purpose by asking them what the club means to them.

    Things like:

      • What attracted you to our club?
      • What is unique about our club?
      • What do you think our club stands for?
      • How would you describe it in a few words?
      • What are the strengths of our club?
      • Where do you think it could improve?
      • What are your concerns about the club?

    Step 2 – Collate the common elements

    Gather people’s feedback and group their responses into a set of common elements.

    Step 3 – Develop some key statements using the feedback

    From those grouped responses, try to work the key elements into some statements.

    For example:

      • “Our mission is to provide a safe, welcoming club where people enjoy a sense of belonging.”
      • “We promote success, enjoyment and well-being of all our members.”
      • “We welcome diversity.”
      • “We treat everyone equally and have a zero tolerance for violence or abuse.”

    Step 4 – Make sure people’s feedback is accurately captured.

    Take your summary and key statements back to people to check whether they think this is a good reflection of their input.

    Step 5 – Link your club mission to everything you do

    It’s your bedrock.

    Refer to it regularly, display it clearly and legibly around your club, and live it every day.

    Step 6 – Be proud of it!

    It’s not a wall decoration, but a constant reminder for you and others, of the kind of people you are and what you strive for, individually and together, in the club and the outside world.

    Going through this process to develop it democratically with others in the club makes it the most powerful it can be; people will protect it’s practice if they see themselves in it.

    Step 7 – Display it!

    Flaunt it – make it visible and accessible right across the board. 

      • Club rooms
      • Change rooms
      • The canteen
      • Court side/field side/pool side
      • On the club’s external signage
      • On the club’s website and social media

    Step 8 – Celebrate!

    People’s actions that positively reflect the club mission should be celebrated wherever possible.

    Acknowledging people for their positive contributions is also helping to embed the kind of culture you’ve written about in your Mission Statement.

    Award systems are a great way of creating these opportunities.

    Step 9 – Defend it!

    Use your club’s Mission Statement to help deal with negative behaviour:

      • reference your Mission Statement when member behaviour is out of line with your club’s values
      • use your Mission Statement to explain to someone why their behaviour isn’t acceptable at your club
      • consistently and fairly enforce consequences for breaches of code of conduct.

    Step 10 – Revise it!

    Over time, your club’s mission and values will change as your club evolves. Revisit them regularly (at least every 2 years) to ensure your club remains relevant and dynamic.

    Your Mission Statement is now a functional tool!