It can be very exciting starting a new club but the administration aspect of it quite daunting for those with minimal experience in it. Club Management is a vital part of forming new clubs and AFLC is here as a resource to help get them up to speed. Here are some key points to consider:
Getting people playing
If the new club is in a town which doesn’t currently have a League or any other clubs it is difficult raising awareness of the sport. Have a look at the Recruiting section of this document for ideas which might be appropriate to you.
Getting people involved from an administrative point of view & committee structure
Running the administrative affairs of a club can take up a lot of time and not everyone is cut out for it. Where possible spread the work load. At first it may be nothing official just who’s going to look after the money, the games, and recruiting. Over time though clubs should consider setting up a committee structure, voting in members, and having regular meetings.
Standard committee positions include President, Secretary, and Treasurer. Over time may want to consider a Vice-President, Club Development Officer, Social Officer, and Sponsorship/Fundraising Officers for example. Be careful not to make the committee too large as decisions become harder to make and discussions go on for too long.
The initial stages of starting a club are very costly with little money coming in. Have a read of generating revenue section for idea on how to make money. Also aim to keep costs to a minimum. AFL Canada will provide new clubs with a discount for membership in the first year of existence upon request. They will also help source a loan of Jerseys and provide equipment, and a bursary for club logo development to get the club started. Where possible, keep expenses to a minimum. Instead of renting expensive indoor training fields talk to local schools to see if they have cheap gym space available for Training. Similar for game days ... why not have the initial games at a school oval even if it’s not to the correct size just until the club gets into a better financial position.
Web Site / Email Account
AFL Canada will provide all clubs with a free Web Site. Clubs should also create a club specific email account as a means of being able to communicate with others through regular newsletter's of upcoming events and post blogs about what your club is doing on the Web Site. A professional looking and up to date web page will make your club look more attractive for potential members and sponsors.
Branding is a way of advertising your club. It is important to create a “brand” including your club logo, club banner for the web page, and colours then use it for everything. All correspondence letters should include the club logo and contact details. AFL Canada will provide a small bursary for new clubs to develop their logos upon request.
It is good practice to develop a constitution for your club. There are many out there which can be used as reference but basically it should outline the governing rules of your club.
To help explain the sport of AFL to new members who have never seen it let alone played, see AFL Canada's CanKick website as well as our 'Footy Explained' section, for even more info check out the AFL's key facts and rules of the sport HERE