WIMMERA sporting clubs must comply with a new state-driven code of conduct in order to receive government funding into the future.
Sporting clubs across the state must implement the state government’s new Fair Play Code – an updated version of the 2010 Victorian Code of Conduct for Community Sport – by July 1.
The code is underpinned by five pillars – integrity, respect, responsibility, fairness and safety – and urges clubs to create an inclusive and safe environment for participants.
Clubs will be ineligible for government funding if they do not adopt the code.
Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly executive officer David Berry said all clubs needed to understand the code before July 1.
“Any club or association that applies for funding under Sport and Recreation Victoria will have to show they are committed to the code and standards,” he said.
“Clubs hoping for funds to improve facilities will have to adopt principles of the code going forward. Clubs need to embed the it into their policies and procedures.
“They need to have processes to enforce the code and promote it. That can be on a website, Facebook page or promoting it at the clubrooms. It’s probably what clubs do already but it’s about documenting it.
“The old code was a code of conduct of behaviour. This one includes these new five pillars and it is a bit more broad. The whole club needs to know about the code and there needs to be evidence in the club that they are abiding by it.”
The state government and the assembly held an information session about the code for sporting clubs on Monday night in Horsham.
Mr Berry said it was disappointing to only see one football and netball club attend.
Clubs need to have processes to enforce the code and promote it.David Berry
“The meeting highlighted to the clubs that there is more compliance for them to look at,” he said. “It’s disappointing that only one football and netball club attended.
“I agree it was a bit of a rushed forum, but all the people that attended received the same notification as everyone else.”
“If there is a breach of the code and the club does nothing then they aren’t complying. It’s not so much that there was a breach – it’s what the club does to deal with the breach that shows they are enforcing the code.”
Mr Berry said he was looking at holding another session for clubs that missed out before July 1.
Stawell Football Netball Club president Tim Williams said he is confident his club is in a good position to adjust to the new policy.
“We have everything in order it is just a matter of double checking it is up to scratch,” he said.
“There are that many rules and policies that are changing all the time we have had to be vigilant to keep on top of them, which I think we have done a good job doing.”