Resources to help you run your club

Good governance practices are essential for any organisation to be able to function effectively.

The Office for Recreation and Sport is committed to working with state sport and active recreation organisations to develop and pursue a philosophy of good governance and continuous improvement.

The Office for Recreation and Sport works with organisations to achieve best-practice governance, management and human resource structures, and the processes required to create a high-performing organisation.

For further information on each of the resources please contact:

Senior Project Officer, Club Development
Office for Recreation and Sport
Phone: (08) 8457 1444
Fax: (08) 8457 1575


Links and Resources


A STARCLUB is a well-run club where quality coaches and officials work alongside valued volunteers in a safe and welcoming environment.

Measure your club against the STARCLUB criteria and get information and support to continue the development of your club to provide the best environment possible for your members and the wider community.


How to check your STARCLUB progress (PDF, 590 KB)


Governance Principles - A good practice guide for sporting organisations assists Board/Committee members, chief executive officers and managers of sporting organisations to develop, implement and maintain a robust system of governance to suit the particular circumstances of their sport.

Governance Principles (PDF, 1084 KB)

Constitution Templates

Constitution templates are available for State Associations, Regional Associations and Clubs. The templates meet the requirements of the Associations Incorporation Act 1985 in South Australia and incorporate best practice governance principles as advocated by the Australian Sports Commission and Office for Recreation and Sport.

To find out more about the requirements of an incorporated club, download publications or lodge a new or updated constitution, visit the SA Government agency of Consumer and Business Services,

These constitution templates are unavailable at present as the Office for Recreation and Sport is liaising with the SA Government agency Consumer and Business Services to clarify wording for one clause in the document.  It is anticipated that this will be resolved by mid May 2016.  To access the template document and discuss the clause that is the subject of this matter and options for a planned constitutional change, please contact Michelle Ingrames on 8457 1437.

Model Club - Template Constitution

Model Constitution Club - Drafting Guide

Club Constitutions  (PDF, 328 KB)

How to Incorporate Fact Sheet (PDF, 203 KB)

Member Protection

Harassment, discrimination or abuse in sport and recreation can have a devastating impact on a club and result legal liability, low morale, higher turnover of volunteers and long-term damage to the club's image and reputation.

Sport and recreation clubs are therefore advised to have policies and procedures in place to minimise issues.

Every organisation that provides a service for children is required by legislation to have a child safe policy. This may be incorporated in a member protection policy. For further information about creating a child safe environment (link to Create a child safe environment)

Member Protection Policy

An Association, State Sporting Organisation (SSO) or National body may require their affiliated clubs to adopt their Member Protection Policy or may have one that can be adapted to meet the clubs requirements.

Clubs are advised to contact their governing body before creating their own policy.

Clubs/organisations that do not have a governing body or do not have a policy provided for them may adapt the following template which meets the current Child Protection Legislation.

SA Club Member Protection Template - 2014 (DOCX, 99 KB)

Further resources and information

Policy Development

Always check with your state or national body in the first instance to ensure alignment of policy from top to bottom in your sport. 

The Our Community Policy Bank provides a range of free policies and procedures relevant to Boards and Committees of organisations.

Our Community Policy Bank

STARCLUB Conference Presentation

Updating your constitution (PDF, 346 KB)

Getting your club sorted - just get started! (PDF, 578 KB)


It is important for new Committee members to know about the workings of the organisation and their responsibilities as a Committee member. It is good practice to provide a structured, comprehensive and practical orientation to the activities, policies and structure of the organisation. This Induction Essentials Pack has been developed specifically to assist clubs to assist and induct new Club committee members.

Committee Member Induction Pack (PDF, 968 KB)

So you want to be a Committee Member (PDF, 166 KB)

STARCLUB Conference Presentations

Tips for meaningful meetings (PDF, 64 KB)

Understanding the personalities on your committee (PDF, 39 KB)

Strategic Planning

A strategic plan is a document that is designed to give the organisation some direction in the short to mid-term (2-4 years). It takes into account the internal strengths and weakness plus the external opportunities and threats to the organisation, and details strategies to address and build on these. This resource provides a brief description of what is included in a strategic plan.

Strategic Planning Resource (PDF, 114 KB)

Related planning documents on the Clearinghouse for sport

STARCLUB Conference Presentations

Putting plans into action - Encounter Paddling Club (PDF, 5044 KB)

Keeping strategic planning simple! (PDF, 296 KB)

Template for long term planning (PDF, 29 KB)

Attracting and keeping junior members (PDF, 1337 KB)

Risk Management

All sport and recreation organisations are subject to potential liabilities simply because of the nature of their activities. Being aware of potential dangers, adopting the right risk management practices and obtaining appropriate insurance can help reduce the likelihood of such liabilities. 

The Office for Recreation and Sport Risk Management Resource is an introductory guide to the risk management process, which provides an overview of the key concepts of risk management and guidance on how the risk management practices can be adopted.

Risk Management Resource for Recreation and Sport Organisations (PDF, 1985 KB)

To assist users of this resource the information included in the resource has been divided into sections to allow particular information to be accessible if required. 

Section 1Risk Management Process (PDF, 511 KB)
Contains a simple explanation of the ten-step process for organisations to follow.
Section 2Frequently Asked Questions (PDF, 266 KB)
Frequently asked questions and corresponding answers related to risk management.
Section 3Key risks (PDF, 1029 KB) - knowing what they are and how they can be managed
Governance (PDF, 408 KB)
Legal (PDF, 500 KB)
Financial (PDF, 426 KB)
Contract Management (PDF, 315 KB)
Probity (PDF, 290 KB)
Human resource (PDF, 372 KB)
Member and Child Protection (PDF, 351 KB)
Sports integrity (PDF, 393 KB)
Regulatory compliance (PDF, 320 KB)
Social media (PDF, 324 KB)
Section 4Risk management insurance (PDF, 417 KB)
An explanation of the types of insurance and steps for a sustainable insurance program.
Section 5Risk management and state and national standards (PDF, 344 KB)
An explanation of Standards Australia Guidelines, National Sport and Recreation Competency Standards and Adventure Activity Standards.
Section 6Other Useful resources (PDF, 552 KB)
Audit tools and templates
Activity Leaders checklist (DOC, 173 KB)
Contract Checklist (DOC, 173 KB)
Financial management checklist (DOC, 151 KB)
Legislative requirements checklist (DOC, 158 KB)
Organisational risk audit checklist (DOC, 190 KB)
Risk Management Action Plan template (DOC, 303 KB)
Risk Management - event management checklist (DOC, 314 KB)
Sample Policy Disclosures (DOC, 158 KB)

Managing utilities

1.     KPMG Increased cost of utilities review

In October 2013 the Office for Recreation and Sport (ORS) engaged KPMG to review the impact higher utility costs are having on the sustainability of sport and recreation clubs and associations.

The purpose of the KMPG study was to:

  • examine the impact higher utility costs are having on the sustainability of clubs and associations;
  • ascertain the different approaches and strategies currently being undertaken by a range of clubs and associations, councils and state and territory governments, in response to these pressures; and
  • present potential opportunities, for further examination by the Government, which address the impact of increased costs of utilities for clubs and associations.

KPMG submitted their final report to ORS in February 2014.

Increased cost of utilities review – February 2014 (PDF, 1361 KB)

Since then ORS has completed a number of strategies that aim to help organisations manage their utilities more efficiently. They include:

  • STARCLUB Sustainable Clubs
  • Greening Your Club Checklist
  • Fact Sheet: Recreation Grounds Rates and Taxes Exemption Act 1981
  • Utility Management Case Studies

More information and links to these resources can be found below.

ORS is also:

  • partnering with the Conservation Council of SA to develop an environmental sustainability training program aimed at club and association volunteers (pilot training programs expected to be delivered in December 2015); and
  • playing a significant role in the current Irrigated Public Open Space – Code of Practice review.

2.     STARCLUB Sustainable Clubs

The Office for Recreation and Sport has developed STARCLUB ‘Sustainable Clubs’ to educate your club / association on more efficient utility management practices. Sustainable Clubs will be the sixth section of the STARCLUB Club Development Program and will be classified as an ‘EXTRA’ section. Sustainable Clubs will be entirely voluntary and will not form part of the STARCLUB assessment process.

Sustainable Clubs will direct users to helpful resources, templates, websites and tips to help reduce your club / associations utility usage. The tool is aimed at clubs / associations who:

  • pay their own water and power bills; and/or
  • are responsible for maintaining sporting grounds.

Register and log on to STARCLUB to see how Sustainable Clubs can help you.

STARCLUB Club Development Program

3.    Code of Practice - Irrigated Public Open Space

Hosted by SA Water the Code of Practice - Irrigated Public Open Space (IPOS) was developed in 2009 to provide a management framework for best practice turf and irrigation management for all irrigated public open space, including that managed by local government, the education sector and other open space managers including sporting clubs.

The aim of IPOS is to provide the tools and reporting models necessary to implement best practice irrigation management in the provision of public open space.

In 2015 funding was secured to review and update the code. The Office for Recreation and Sport was represented on the projects steering committee to advocate for the many sporting clubs in South Australia responsible for maintaining their own sporting fields.

For more information on IPOS visit Code of Practice - Irrigated Public Open Space

Operational Guide

During the IPOS review the Office for Recreation and Sport ensured a simplified version of IPOS was developed to support the many club volunteers responsible for maintaining their own sporting fields. 

The IPOS Operational Guide was designed to assist those who are responsible for the irrigation management of sports grounds but are not considered professional irrigation managers. The IPOS Operational Guide provides a simplified version to assist irrigation managers achieve acceptable standards of irrigation efficiency, effective cost management / monitoring, minimise wastage and provide a functional turf surface.

Therefore if you are a sporting club responsible for maintaining your own sporting field the IPOS Operational Guide is for you.

Code of Practice - Irrigated Public Open Space OPERATIONAL GUIDE

4.     Greening Your Club Checklist

While the primary goal of most sporting organisations is to develop and grow their sport, high performing organisations are also aware of economic, social and environmental factors that impact on their responsibilities to the community. The purpose of this document is to provide information on environmental issues currently facing sporting organisations and clubs within South Australia and to equip them with the tools and skills necessary to reduce their environmental impact.

Greening Your Club Checklist (PDF, 529 KB)

The Greening Your Club Checklist has been developed to provide helpful hints and ideas and create awareness on how sport and recreation clubs and associations of all sizes can reduce their utility usage. Many of the ideas are simple for your organisation to implement however some may involve working in partnership with your Council depending on your lease / licence arrangement. 

It is therefore recommended you contact your Council before implementing any initiatives outlined in the resource that may be the responsibility of the Council.

The greening your club guide does not commit state or local government, sporting groups or any other organisation to provide, improve or allocate resources to facilities.

5.     FACT SHEET: Recreation Grounds Rates and Taxes Exemption Act 1981

The Recreation Grounds Rates and Taxes Exemption Act 1981 exempts certain land used for sport and recreation in South Australia from rates and taxes. Refer to the criteria outlined in the Recreation Grounds Rates and Taxes Exemption Act 1981 Fact Sheet to check if your organisation meets the eligibility criteria.

FACT SHEET: Recreation Grounds Rates and Taxes Exemption Act 1981 (PDF, 232 KB)

6.    Utility Management Case Studies

With the increased cost of utilities having an impact on sport and recreation clubs / associations ongoing sustainability the Office for Recreation and Sport consulted with four organisations to identify benchmark utility management practices. 

A snap shot of information obtained during these consultations has been collated and included in a series of short case studies that aim to help clubs and associations manage their utilities more efficiently.

Hectorville Sport & Community Club (PDF, 1513 KB)
SA Athletics Stadium (PDF, 3852 KB)
Port Pirie Softball Association (PDF, 1569 KB)
Clare United Sports Clubrooms (PDF, 2190 KB)


Communication plays a key role insuring that the organisation's activities are communicated in an effective, timely, open, reliable and responsible manner to all stakeholders. Through effective communication organisations can increase membership, retain existing members, attract sponsors and raise the profile of the organisation.

Marketing & Communication Strategies for Sport & Recreation Organisations (PDF, 448 KB)

How to communicate effectively to my organisation (PDF, 502 KB)

Creating a Stakeholders Communications Plan (PDF, 240 KB)

STARCLUB Conference Presentation

Tips for giving feedback... on and off the field (PDF, 14 KB)

Social media - the smart approach (PDF, 16 KB)

Financial Management

Managing the finances of a sport and recreation organisation can be complex. The available financial management resources can assist organisations in implementing effective financial processes.

Financial Help Sheets & Resources

STARCLUB Conference Presentations

Turning your finances around - Port Districts Football Club (PDF, 972 KB)

Targeting your sponsorship - Newton Jaguars Netball Club (PDF, 1140 KB)

Get your club finances in order now (PDF, 580 KB)

Ethics and culture

Integrity in Sport

Codes of Conduct

Codes of conduct or codes of behaviour provided to all participants and supporters can assist the organisation with managing behaviour and building a culture of respect.

These templates are available for adaptation or developing your own codes with the input of all stakeholders can help to create ownership and responsibility.

Play by the rules Code of behaviour template (DOCX, 73 KB)

Hot/Extreme Weather Policy

The Office for Recreation and Sport encourages all sport and recreation organisations to adopt and adhere to a hot/extreme weather policy. The safety of participants, coaches, volunteers and officials is paramount. While the impact and risk can vary depending on location and activity, in South Australia extreme weather such as cold, lightning, extreme heat and catastrophic fire danger is a risk for every sport and recreation organisation and its members.

The Office for Recreation and Sport encourages sport and recreation organisations implement a Hot Weather/Extreme Weather policy and that this policy:

  • Reflects the information advice provided by Sports Medicine Australia
  • Is applied at all levels of the activity, including at club level
  • Applies to all events, matches and to training

It is encouraged that a club adopts the hot/extreme weather policy of the association or state body to which they are affiliated to rather than developing their own.

Sports Medicine Australia has produced a number of resources that can assist organisations in developing and implementing their policy. For further information visit the Sports Medicine Australia – SA Branch website

Bureau of Meteorology

The Bureau of Meteorology provides Thermal Comfort observations for South Australia. The South Australian observations can be found at

The information provided by the Bureau of Meteorology is state-wide and updated regularly during the day.  The information provided by the Bureau of Meteorology should be used in-conjunction with the advice provided by Sports Medicine Australia.


Other resources