Treasurer Shirley Rugby Club
Christchurch, New Zealand
Shirley Rugby Football Club celebrated their centenary this year. They have survived earthquakes, dishonest volunteers and more, with the club not only surviving, but going from strength to strength. Read on to learn their tips for running a not for profit sporting club.
Our top 5 tips for running a successful Community Rugby Club.
1. Be sure you have the right people in the right positions.
The key positions of a club are Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary. These people ensure all the processes are adhered to and Rugby clubs are complaint in all areas. The issues that clubs face are that most of those positions are taken by passionate volunteers. Our club learnt a lesson recently when our Chairperson, who also acted as the Treasurer, was caught pilfering money from the club’s bank account for a long time without anyone knowing. He had a pivotal role and all the members trusted him. He took control with no accountability. The committee members and the rugby community just left him to manage the clubs finances and ignored the warning bells. He was eventually caught and fortunately he made amends by paying back a large portion of what he took. So, as a member of any Rugby or other sporting community, don't be afraid to ask what controls are in place to make sure the club's key positions are well controlled, transparent and the reporting is available for all members.
2. Communication is key to running and maintaining a successful Rugby Club.
Be sure to feature your teams and their supporters on a website and where possible, across all social media platforms. Create a positive online community by featuring all your teams’ successes and challenges. It is hard for the players to rise up every week and perform at a high level and for them to know that their community is behind them and they care, means a lot. Obviously, encouraging the community to come along and support the team each week on the sideline should be the overriding message.
3. Tap into all the resources available at your affiliated body.
Shirley Rugby Club is affiliated with the very successful Canterbury Rugby Union (CRFU). The CRFU have a lot of resources available for clubs to use - e.g. Coaching courses, draws and results, match reports, images, rep rugby development, positive rugby initiatives like the recent 'We All Bleed Red' campaign, to stop racially abuse, and assistance with clubs develop their strategic plan.
4. Community sponsorship is important for any club to survive in this era.
In Rugby, we regularly see amateur clubs trying to survive in this professional era. Each club needs a band of committed people to go out to the community and bring in sponsors so that the club can provide uniforms, playing and training gear and enough money to run the club successfully. There are loads of hidden costs i.e. each match ball can cost up to $100 each, player’s jerseys can also cost upward of $100 each. Then there are the trophies for the end of year prize giving, team photos, electricity bill for the lighting at the park for nightly training sessions, after match food, costs for key functions in the club like a Rugby Development Officer, coaching costs and Club-room running costs.
5. Retaining and sourcing key senior and junior players is the final key for success.
Rugby clubs need to prioritise this to ensure that this is a major part of their annual plan and they have the right people to provide this role. Players need to feel valued and connected with their club. They should want to wear the team jersey with pride and then this will flow on to success on the field.