SPORT DISPUTE RESOLUTION CENTRE OF CANADA
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Governance

An increasing number of disputes that are brought to the SDRCC's attention concern governance issues including, but not restricted to:

  • improperly conducted decision-making/election processes in sport organizations;
  • abuse of power and authority by board members;
  • conflicting interpretations of by-law;
  • undeclared conflicts of interests in the management of sport organizations; or
  • affiliation and recognition of member organizations (clubs, provincial organizations, etc.)

It is acknowledged that sport organizations in Canada, from local clubs to national organizations, are most often led by volunteer boards. These volunteers can be recruited from among current athletes' parents, former athletes, coaches or officials, or other adults who are simply passionate about sport and want to be part of it, out of sheer goodwill contribute to its success. Sport could not survive in Canada without these dedicated volunteers. Unfortunately, they are not always properly prepared to take on the task, as they often have no professional training in business or sports administration and they receive minimal orientation upon appointment. Effectively, being elected to a board of directors' position does not automatically turn one into a proficient manager or decision-maker.

Resources in this section, beginning with the new "Guide to Administrative Fair Play", will aim at assisting volunteer board members in their roles and responsibilities, no matter at what level. They will serve to educate them about good governance and best management practices as they can be applied to sport organizations, for a healthier and fairer sport system in Canada.

We are proud to make available, with permission, a presentation by Alan Zimmermann, Director of the Sport Development Division at Sport Canada, for a workshop on this subject as delivered in Ottawa in June 2011.

The SDRCC is a proud contributor of content for the Club Excellence program, which offers resources and tools to sport clubs and organizations across Canada as part of its certification program. Club Excellence supports all sports and wishes to create a healthy, strong and sustainable network amongst these key players by helping them meet a set of 30 standards in quality programming and effective club management practices.

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