Governance provides sport and recreation clubs with their direction, planning, and purpose.

This is important as it outlines the responsibilities of club leaders and members and provides them with the direction they need to succeed in their roles.

Good governance helps with the running of the club, and a well-run club is more appealing to new members and is essential for gaining funding through sponsorships and grants. Whilst good governance doesn’t guarantee success, poor governance will always lead to failure.

On this page


When a club becomes incorporated, it becomes a separate legal entity. This can be beneficial as it enables the club to do things in its own name, including:

  • sign contracts
  • ‚Äčlease premises
  • operate bank accounts
  • receive grant monies from local and federal government.

Incorporation is one of the leading legal protection strategies available to clubs. It can help to relieve the club and members from liability when they are undertaking the authorised acts of the club. Please note that it doesn’t prevent actions of negligence in all circumstances.

For more information about becoming incorporated, visit the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.


A constitution is the basic rules for how your club is run and it required for the club to become incorporated. A constitution provides:

  • information to members and non-members about what your club
  • guidelines for the daily running of your club
  • help to sort out internal problems
  • help in seeking resources, funding, and support from other organisations, such as a government agency.

Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries has a helpful guide for developing a constitution.


A club’s by-laws are developed with your constitution. The by-laws sit beneath the constitution and outline the finer details of the club. This can include:

  • the duties of key roles, like the President, Secretary and Treasurer
  • the duties of supporting roles, like coaches, equipment managers and volunteers
  • playing fees
  • club colours and uniforms
  • awards and medals given to members.

The contents of the by-laws must not contradict the constitution. They are not law and can be changed by your leaders, as outlined in your constitution.


Policies are useful for helping to manage the day-to-day issues of running a sport club. Policies provide further detail for the rules outlined in your constitution and by-laws.

The Play by the Rules website has policy templates you can use as a starting point for your club.

Child safety

Everyone plays a part in keeping children safe whilst they are having fun and getting active.

Everyone involved within local sport must understand the legal and governance responsibilities they have to keep children safe from harm. Clubs must ensure a zero tolerance policy for any behaviour which puts children and young people at risk.

Sports clubs should embed child safety into their leadership and have many measures in place to safeguard children.

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries outlines the child safeguarding requirements for WA sports clubs.


Planning is the key to ensuring the future for sporting and recreation clubs and it can help clubs achieve financial sustainability, meet long-term goals, and grow their membership.

When thinking about implementing a plan for your club, consider:

  • where the club has come from, where it is now, where it wants to go and how it is going to get there
  • the main objectives of the club
  • how to get members involved in the development of the club
  • if changes in the current environment impact the club
  • resources (human, physical and financial) are used effectively
  • the progress of the club.

When implementing your plan, ensure you have educated and provided information to stakeholders external to the club, including the City of Canning.

The Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries has plenty of information on how to plan for your club’s future.

extraMile by Integranet