Why is a policy important?

One of the benefits of being a Good Sports club is that your members can see how much you care about their safety and wellbeing.

Having a club policy - and making sure people know about it – helps everyone respect the club’s values. It sets the standard for the behaviour you expect from members and guests. It also lets them know you care.

Your club works hard to create a welcoming club environment. Putting it all in writing takes it just that step further.

Creating a Good Sports policy is easy

Good Sports takes all the guesswork out of complying with legal requirements. It gives you the upper hand when it comes to attracting funding, new members and volunteers.

Your club doesn’t need to start from scratch. Good Sports take all the hard work out of getting your policy right and ticking the boxes. When you fill out your club questionnaire online, your policy will be automatically built for you, only including what’s relevant to your club.

Once you’ve completed enough of your questionnaire on the Good Sports portal to create a policy, print out or email it to the relevant committee members. You can discuss it at your next committee meeting or have people sign it online. Your Good Sports policy will be easy to read and covers all the key areas.

Once signed, your policy is now complete! Congratulations – you're a Silver Medal accredited Good Sports club. Once you’ve completed all action items possible and signed your final policy, you’ll become a Gold Medal Good Sports club. This is the highest level of the program.

Put it in writing

Just as every sport has its rules in writing, so every club needs to have policies in writing. They set out what behaviour is expected from members and guests.

Your policy will also guide the club’s decision-making process in line with its values. This makes day-to-day running go much more smoothly, so you can spend more time focusing on the players and volunteers.

You may find as you go through your questionnaire that your club already has many of the actions in place. For example, having designated smoke-free areas, or regularly promoting mental health support services so members know where to go if they need professional help.

Once it's part of your signed policy, the awesome things your club is already doing will be down in writing. Making it official shows people you're committed.

What’s the benefit of having a policy?

Having a Good Sports policy in place at your club has many benefits.

  • It sends a clear message that you care about the safety of your members and guests. This can increase community support and membership.
  • It can help you support your members to live happy and healthy lives, for example by including mental health guidelines in your policies.
  • It’s a great way to set clear expectations for your members and guests.
  • Creating a policy will prepare your club to react in a fair and calm manner to any incidents.
  • Good policies uphold the reputation of the club, which matters to sponsors and partners.

How do I implement a policy at my club?

  1. Join Good Sports online. Fill in a quick form with your club’s details to register for Good Sports. You’ll then get a confirmation email and be able to create your club account.
  2. Questionnaire. Start by answering a series of questions about your club.
  3. Action plan. As you complete the questionnaire, you will be building an action plan to help you prioritise your club's work. Actions and policy line items will be added automatically as you go along.
  4. Good Sports policy. Progress through questions and actions to generate your first policy to share with your club. Get the policy signed by the relevant committee members to become an accredited Silver Medal Good Sports club.
  5. Share. You can now promote your policy to your club community.

What’s included in my policy?

Each club’s policy is different. As you fill out your questionnaire, actions will be generated that are relevant for your club. For example, if your club is alcohol-free, you won't have many (if any) alcohol management components in your action plan.

Policy items

This helps the club to meet its duty of care when it comes to the health and safety of members, volunteers and visitors. It also helps you comply with smoking law regulations. Smoking in some public places is against the law in Australia. This varies from state to state.

Good Sports recognises the risks with smoking, and your club’s important role in modelling good behaviour for club juniors and the wider community.

This part of your policy outlines what steps the club will take to make sure people follow the rules when it comes to transport home after club games, special events or visiting the bar. It also outlines what strategies your club will put in place to help get people home safe.

Even if you do not serve alcohol, you might have someone who has been drinking come to collect a child – having a policy helps you know what to do in this kind of situation.

Having a clear plan on safe transport helps to ensure that members and guests will plan their ride home, and ultimately get home in one piece.

No matter what the role of alcohol at your club, having an alcohol management policy is about doing your bit when it comes to role modelling the right behaviour for members and guests.

Every club can be affected by this issue. Even alcohol-free clubs may have spectators bring an esky to a match.

The policy will help to make sure that your club meets its duty of care and will set clear expectations for members and guests. It will also simplify the process of meeting all liquor licensing requirements. These vary between state and territory.

The result is a stronger club that can uphold its reputation as a positive leader in the community.

Sporting clubs are important to many people. They’re places exercise and socialise, both of which are known to improve mental health. Your club can help normalise conversations around what can be a difficult topic.

One in five Australians experiences mental ill-health every year. It’s more important than ever to make sure your players, members and parents feel safe, connected and supported.

Covering mental health in your club policy makes it easier for your club to support its members and guests. This may include educating members, players and coaches about mental health. It can also include sharing mental health support service details around your club, so people know where to go for help if they need it.

If your club has junior members, you’ll be able to add additional actions into your policy to make the club more welcoming for them. A family-friendly atmosphere lets families know that your club is safe for all ages.

This may include actions such as ensuring alcohol is not consumed in the change rooms when junior and underage players are present. It can also include ensuring there’s no alcohol sponsorship on junior apparel.

Good Sports knows how important community sporting clubs are in role-modelling healthy behaviours to young club members.

Good Sports can help prepare your club to respond to any drug related issues if they arise. Drug use can affect any community or sporting club, so it’s a good thing to think ahead about.

Including a section on drugs in your policy will ensure you know what to do if there is suspected drug use or if someone is found distributing drugs at your club.

Your policy will set clear behaviour guidelines for member, spell out what to do if there is an incident, provide responses that are fair and appropriate and position the club as a safe and responsible community leader.