We are looking at upgrading our club to become sportsafe.  Could you give me some guidelines on how to go about this.

Answer:

Mandurah has a lot of sporting clubs and at Mandurah Physiotherapy in Mandurah we treat a lot of these athletes. Every sports club has the responsibility to provide a safe environment for players, coaches, referees and spectators, not only to reduce the potential of injury but also to meet legal duties of care.  For your club to create a safe environment for its members, you need to develop a plan.  Sport safety planning and implementation is not hard, it’s common sense.  It is not a one-off event, but a cycle of continuous improvement.  Changes to club personnel, playing rules, club equipment and facilities may require your club to provide ongoing education and training for all club members.  Sport safety planning is about playing smart, being aware, being prepared and being active in promoting a safe sport environment for all.  The benefits for your club may include: fewer and less severe injuries, lower insurance premiums, recognition for being a sport safe club, satisfied members and increased membership, well educated members, reassured parents, safety being used as a positive marketing tool for the club, and a responsible and coordinated approach to sport safety.

A booklet put out by the Sports Medicine Australia group is available, which gives guidelines for developing and implementing a sport safety plan. I suggest you get hold of this booklet either through me or through Sports Medicine Australia and go through the booklet.  It includes a checklist to find your club’s weak areas, a step by step approach to planning for sport safety and a case study of an actual sport safe club. This booklet is called “How to become a sports Safe club”. For those interested the Sports Medicine Australia telephone number is 9441 8248.