What can you do in your sports club?

Sports clubs are communities that play an important role in addressing social issues like family violence.

A club culture that promotes respectful relationships, accountability, integrity, fair play, sportsmanship, and sanctions against violence can contribute to preventing family violence in the community.

Men especially have a positive role to play in ending family violence through shaping the attitudes and behaviours of children and other men, including peers, colleagues, team mates and friends. The sporting environment is a perfect place to do this. In this section there are some key things that will help promote a safe, family friendly environment.

To Kick Off

Put up posters and display information in your club or organisation or on the field and sidelines.

These resources are free from the It’s not OK campaign website www.areyouok.org.nz/resources/free-resources

Start talking with staff and coaches about family violence and what the role of the club might be.

Get a family violence campaign “champion” in on a club night or to your next meeting. Contact the campaign to find out how we can help www.areyouok.org.nz   email: areyouok@msd.govt.nz

Set up a stall at your next club day with resources about family violence, how to get help, and how to help others from the campaign website www.areyouok.org.nz/resources/free-resources

Get in touch with your local family violence network or service. Most areas have a network of agencies working together to eliminate family violence – they can provide support, information and resources. You can find your local network at www.familyservices.govt.nz or contact us on areyouok@msd.govt.nz to be put in touch.

Building Momentum

Invite It’s not OK or a local family violence network to run a workshop about family violence, its impact and what clubs and sports organisations can do to take the lead.

This can be just for players, coaches or staff or for the whole club, families, sponsors and club partners. Think about the messages you want to use. Some examples might be:

  • violence is not our game
  • we all have a role to play in preventing family violence
  • we support violence-free families.

Display messages around the club:

  • logos on club jerseys and training tees
  • posters in the club rooms including bathrooms and changing rooms
  • slogans on club vehicles
  • messages on tickets, website, newsletters, email footers
  • messages in media releases
  • announcements over the PA at games.

Include a statement in the Code of Conduct for all staff about healthy relationships, family violence and sexual violence.

Look at the physical environment of the club – is it family-friendly? Do women and children feel safe?

Think about ways to introduce the promotion of safe, respectful and healthy relationships into training for coaches.

Leading from the Front

Have the club president or chairperson release a club statement on family violence, safe relationships and strong family values.

Develop a process to be followed if a player, coach or parent discloses, or you suspect, that they are living with or using violence.

Use open days and club days to promote family violence prevention messages and resources.

Run workshops and arrange presentations which help people to understand family violence and create champions for change.

Share it with your sponsors – let them know that you expect them to be violence free too. Talk to them about the positive changes in your club or team.

Train bar staff to identify and intervene in situations where there is a risk of physical or sexual assault.

Take action on sideline behaviour to ensure it’s safe and respectful. An example of a video developed by one of the campaign’s partners, called “Don’t be an Egg”, can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9yt6e3BqBE

Develop your own posters or mini booklet about family violence, featuring people from your club – talk to the It’s not OK team about how to do this.

Think about other ways you might open your clubrooms up to organisations that can provide services to your community, for example running parenting programmes in your clubrooms.

Think about how alcohol use is promoted at the club and whether this impacts on people’s behaviour and safety during and after games.