If you're a club who wants to know more about regulations, funding or recruiting new members – you've come to the right place.
Forms and policies for sport clubs
Workshops and training for clubs
Free training for volunteers
Council provides free training to volunteer-led Merri-bek community groups. The aim of the training is to provide education and support for groups to become sustainable and achieve their goals. The training is for volunteers to gain knowledge and skills to then implement and help the group become sustainable. To find out about support that may be available for your group, please contact Council.
Merri-bek Volunteer Training Program
Merri-bek Volunteer Training Program is a series of short training courses and workshops run by neighbourhood houses in Merri-bek. This training is for committee members of community groups, local volunteers and staff of clubs, community groups and non for profit organisations.
Popular training among volunteers, clubs and community groups include general administration, communication skills, occupational health and safety, committees of management training courses. The training is highly subsidised and courses are offered at low cost.
Merri-bek Volunteer Training also offers accredited training in some areas, including safe food handling, first aid, and computer training.
To arrange specialised training for your organisation, contact Sussex Neighbourhood House.
Hume-Merri-bek Volunteer Coordinators' Network
The Hume-Merri-bek Volunteer Coordinators’ Network is a bi-monthly forum specifically designed for volunteer coordinators and managers for organisations within the Cities of Hume and Merri-bek.
The forum covers a range of topics that are relevant to not-for-profit organisations, including associations that are entirely operated by volunteers.
Membership is free and open to anyone who works with volunteers in Merri-bek and Hume.
To find out more contact Council.
Women and girls
Women and girls
Find out about Council's Active Women and Girls Strategy and ways to recruit girls and women into your club.
To address the inequity in women and girls taking part in sport across Merri-bek, the Council introduced a Sportsground and Pavilion Allocation Policy. The policy requested clubs to be inclusive of women, juniors, people with a disability and people from culturally diverse communities, or risk losing allocation of a ground to a club who is being inclusive.
Merri-bek is the first Council in Victoria to prioritise the allocation and use of sporting grounds and pavilions to clubs which demonstrate inclusiveness of women and girls.
To gain future funding, state sports associations are required to have 40% women on their boards. Research shows that increased gender diversity on boards leads to improved organisational performance. As per Merri-bek Council’s Sporting facilities, grounds and pavilions user guide, clubs are eligible for a 20% discount on their allocation fees if they have 40% women on the committee.
Here are some resources that can contribute to gender equality and help your club recruit women and girls.
- Active women and girls in Merri-bek strategy
- Active Merri-bek women and girls fact sheet
- Victorian gender equality strategy
- Inquiry into women and girls in sport and active recreation
- VicHealth: New tools for gender equality
- VicSport: Welcoming sport
- VicSport: Good governance
Recruiting women and girls
These fact sheets provide some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach women. Studies show that women are the main decision makers in relation to activities the family may participate in. Women also have the highest life expectancy. Participation in regular physical activity has a wide range of health and well being benefits for women including physical, functional, psychological and social benefits and contributes to disease prevention.
Learn more about recruiting females to your club by sharing the following information with your committee:
Accreditation and training for coaches and volunteers
Accreditation and training for coaches and volunteers
Working with Children Check
- Working with Children Check information
Coaching accreditation courses
Building an inclusive club
Building an inclusive club
It is important for clubs and activity providers to make sure they make it as easy as possible for all people to get active. There are also many benefits for clubs, such as increased membership.
There are many ways activity providers can remove or reduce the barriers that prevent people from getting involved. Here are some fact sheets and resources on how to get people from all walks of life to get involved.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) fact sheet
This fact sheet provides some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach culturally and linguistically diverse people within Merri-bek.
Families fact sheet
This fact sheet provides some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach families and promote a healthy lifestyle across generations.
The involvement of friends and family helps facilitate participation in sport.
Low Income Earners fact sheet
This fact sheet provides some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach individuals and families on low or limiting incomes and how to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle.
Older Adults fact sheet
This fact sheet provides some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach older adults. With an ageing population, it is increasingly important that physical activity participation is considered an essential part of everyday life and reaches levels that allow people to enjoy good health and quality of life well into their older years.
Young People fact sheet
This fact sheet provides some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach young people. Encouraging young people to change physical activity participation behaviours requires approaches that address existing and perceived barriers and motivators and a clear understanding of how to reach young people and what messages work best.
People with a Disability fact sheet
This fact sheet provides some background information and suggestions to support clubs and activity providers to successfully reach individuals with a disability.
People with disabilities are likely to be looking for opportunities to socialise, develop skills and try new things in safe and understanding environments that cater for their personal needs with skilled and experienced leaders. People with disabilities seek physical activity that is well organised, safe and offers social interaction with others of the same age, like most people.
Sport4All is a pilot program funded by the Australian Government, which supports mainstream clubs, schools and sport related organisations to build awareness around disability inclusion. Merri-bek City Council is proud to be one of five Local Government Areas that have partnered with the programs developer Get Skilled Access, a Disability Owned Business Enterprise founded by Paralympic Gold Medallist and Grand Slam champion, Dylan Alcott.
The motto 'any sport, anywhere for anyone' guides Sport4All's vision of giving people with disability the opportunity to participate in grassroots and school sports when, where and how they choose.
The Sport4All program aims to support the confidence and capability of clubs, organisations and schools in becoming more welcoming of people with a disability to participate in sport across a range of skills and abilities and in every aspect of their club, both culturally and socially – whether as players, coaches, umpires, volunteers, or spectators.
This program is not just about ramps and rails, but a series of short videos and infographs that support building better awareness of disability inclusion across all forms of sport. Inclusion is everyone's responsibility, and we welcome any one with a connection to local school or community sport and recreation, to participate!
Watch the introduction video to Sport4All.
Tackling homophobia in sport
Below you will find links to resources to help your sport or club tackle homophobia in sport.
Creating an LGBTI+ inclusive Club
Play by the Rules and Proud 2 Play offer a free, interactive online training course suitable for coaches, administrators, officials, players and volunteers. It was developed in partnership with South West Sport and VicHealth. For more information or to complete the training course, visit: Creating an LGBTI+ Inclusive Club - Play by the Rules - Making Sport inclusive, safe and fair
Play by the Rules has developed short interactive scenarios on topical issues and challenges occurring in sport. These scenarios let you explore your understanding and beliefs about issues as well as provide practical tips about inclusive, safe and fair sports practices and procedures.
Access the Homophobia and Sexuality Discrimination scenario.
You Can Play
You Can Play is a national anti-homophobia in sport Initiative brought to you by Play by the Rules.
Visit the You Can Play website and view the videos.
Supporting trans and gender diverse sports people
Below you can find a range of resources to support trans and gender diverse people in your sporting club:
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission guidelines
Guidelines on gender diverse inclusion in sport. Including tips on understanding the act, common scenarios and a policy template to support your sports club or organisation.
Sport Australia partnered with the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports to develop this practical advice to assist sporting organisations in supporting trans and gender diverse sports people.
Tennis Australia’s transgender guidelines for community tennis.
Gender diversity policies FAQs
Australian Football League gender diversity policies FAQs for elite and community football.
Inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people guidelines
Cricket Australia guidelines for the inclusion of transgender & gender diverse people in community cricket.
Posters and signs of support
Sports Australia has produced several posters and fact sheets to assist clubs in creating safe and supportive environments for trans and gender diverse people at sports organisations.
Education and training
Proud 2 Play offer a range of education and training programs. Topics covered include the basics around LGBTI+ inclusion, how to identify and respond to discrimination or harassment, and marketing and media strategies for handling LGBTI+ issues.
Creating an LGBTIQA+ inclusive club is a free, interactive online training course suitable for coaches, administrators, officials, players and volunteers.
Developing club school links
Developing club-school links
Creating partnerships between schools and clubs helps to create continuity between school sports and sport in the wider community. Establishing club-school links allows young people to try out new sports, feel comfortable in a club setting, get familiar with club coaches, and as a result makes them more likely to continue participating once they leave school.
It initially helps for a meeting to take place between the school and club to develop an understanding of the club-school link program and to provide a joint commitment on how the link will be developed. A program of regular meetings between the school and sports club is a good way to review the effectiveness of the link.
- Provide the school with information and promotional material about the club
- Assign a liaison contact to liaise with and provide info to the schools
- Make school visits
- Invite club coaches to speak about their club in school assemblies/school council meetings so that everyone is aware of what’s on offer
Fundraising / grants
Here are some fundraising ideas your club can use to boost cash.
Barbecues and sausage sizzles can be held on game days, often in partnership with local community organisations and stores. On other days you could use club facilities to host movie or trivia nights.
Raffles or other games of luck and skill could be hosted to raise money. Rather than alcohol, prizes could be sourced from local businesses; not only does this send a clearer message about alcohol, it also helps create lasting goodwill with others in the community.
Sponsorship doesn’t only have to be about companies giving the club money – it can also be used to reduce the costs you can’t avoid. You might ask a lighting business to chip in for the electricity bill. Remember: putting a business’ logo on your shirts sends a clear, powerful message so it’s important to think about whether you truly endorse their values.
There are countless products you can get cheaply and then re-sell to make a profit. Local charities and businesses might donate goods or services in the form of vouchers.
Merri-bek Community Grants program
The Merri-bek Council Community Grants Program gives financial support and incentive to implement and support community building initiatives.
This grants program is targeted at not-for-profit incorporated community groups.
- Annual grants, which open in February each year
- Minor grants which are open all year
See Merri-bek Community Grants program and Grants quick guide for further information and links.
Government and sporting association grants
The following links provide detailed information about available grants.
- Australia’s only consolidated grants information service is the Easy grants newsletter. Subscribe by visiting Our Community.
- Australian Sports Foundation funding
- Sport and Recreation Victoria
- Cricket Victoria grants
- Netball Victoria grants
- Local Sporting Champions Program
- Sport Austraila grants