Extract from our Annual Review 2023
Steve Sharman, Relationship Director
The end of 2023 marks a pivotal moment in the Guernsey Sports Commission’s stated aim of supporting every Member Sport to be the best organisation it can be on any given day. Our SportsMark accreditation is central to improving governance of sport as well as ensuring high standards of safeguarding, welfare and financial transparency are priorities for every sport that we work with.
SportsMark was launched in January 2021 and we set ourselves the target of the end of 2023 to have 90% of our Member Sports achieve the award or be working towards it. It is very positive to be able to report that we have achieved that aim.
Outside of SportsMark we have been working with individual clubs and local sporting governing bodies to create sustainable new structures and governance to support the continued growth and/or improve the management of that sport.
We continue to support some key sports such as netball and fencing and the reviews of boxing and junior golf have resulted in some major positive changes to their operation . A review of snooker has been completed and we provided clear guidance for Guernsey Cricket in respect of their review of operational aspects and governance oversight.
These reviews give us the opportunity to take a deep dive into some of our existing sporting organisations and help them re-focus their activities, take a close look at their governance structure, and make any necessary changes – with our support of course.
One of the challenges that we identified in our previous Report was the difficulty in attracting board members of sufficient high calibre to lead some of our clubs and organisations. We have made some great progress in this area in the last year especially in terms of Financial Directors and Company Secretaries. An initiative we are pursuing is to create an in-house team of Safeguarding Professionals who can provide training and support to those sports clubs, associations and organisations that either have no Welfare Officer / Director or the individual in post is inexperienced.
We continue to be grateful to Source Recruitment for their initiative to advertise volunteering opportunities for free on their website, alongside promoting the value of volunteering. This will help raise the profile of opportunities to support the good governance of sport.
Safeguarding remains a high priority workstream and one that takes up a significant amount of senior management time, guiding and supporting our sporting organisations.
We continue to provide regular Safeguarding training sessions specific to the sporting context and have also delivered bespoke sessions to upskill groups from individual sports.
In terms of our own governance, the Sports Commission is still working with the States of Guernsey to secure a long-term funding agreement that will ensure the sustainability of our work and the continued ability to leverage private sponsorship in support of local sport.
For further information about our SportsMark accreditation click here