Building healthier club cultures

Published on 24 November 2023

Building healthier club cultures

Knox and Maroondah City Councils have wrapped up a two-year pilot project to trial strategies for building healthier club cultures in community sports.

With funding from VicHealth and working in partnership with Norwood Football Club and Knox Football Netball Club, the Raise the Bar project explored factors that shape club culture and what steps can be taken to foster friendly, safe and welcoming club environments.

Project partner clubs were selected in consultation with the Eastern Football Netball League for their demonstrated commitment to good governance and a desire for continuous improvement.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Kylie Spears, said the project could help influence positive culture change in local sporting clubs and the wider community.

“Council is proud to have been part of the Raise the Bar project, which has helped to create positive outcomes for the Norwood Football Club and its community,” Cr Spears said.

“With sport being such a wonderful part of Maroondah’s community, it is hoped that the benefits of the project will have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the community and help encourage best practice in sporting clubs and community organisations, while also encouraging more people to get involved in sport at the local level - whether as players, volunteers or supporting members.”

Initiatives trialled through the project focused on the role of alcohol in club settings, strengthening club governance and the creation of sound strategies to move clubs towards their identified goals.

The project has also provided tools to help communicate each club’s goals with its members, supporters and visitors.

Norwood Football Club President, Mark Etherington, said the program has been a great success.

“The Raise the Bar program has been an overwhelming success for our club. It has allowed the Norwood Football Club to not only enhance its operational governance and compliance, but also take the next step in our journey as one of the most respected community organisations in our league,” Mark said.

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