Sport England Clubmark
We are very pleased and proud to announce that in March 2003 the club achieved the prestigous Clubmark Accreditation, awarded by Sport England. Thatto Heath Crusaders are the very first Rugby League Club in the country to independently achieve this status (apart from two clubs involved in the pilot scheme).
What is Clubmark? It is a cross-sport national quality accreditation scheme for sports clubs working with children and young people.
Background: To secure the growthandcontinual improvement of the Club's performance and service toitsmembers, Club Chairman Chris Honey suggested beck in September2002that the Club needed to devise a Club Management System (CMS)thatwould pull together all the various issues and declare thepoliciesthat were required to ensure Thatto Heath Crusaders continuedto be asafe, effective and child friendly Club.
How did we do it?
Chris handed the task to Dave Yates, who isaqualified Club Coach with many years experience, an ex-Chairman ofSt.Helens Crusaders and the current Coach Liaison Officer, he is alsoaHealth Safety & Environmental Systems Manager in hisprofessionallife, and so was the obvious target. Dave devised theClub’s CMS over aperiod of about six months, making reference to theHealth & SafetyExecutive, RL Coach Education Programme, BARLAliterature and materialtogether with his own and others experience.
The CMS is a document that sets out theactivitiesand policies of Thatto Heath Crusaders - St.Helens ARLFC andincludessuch items as: defined roles within the Club, contact details,childprotection policy, equality policy, equity policy, health &safetypolicy, care of players, code of conduct (for all coaches,officials,players, volunteers and parents), duty of care, riskassessment,players medical considerations and numerous feedback formsto assesmembers perceptions.
Prompted by Mike Rush (St.Helens RLFCDevelopmentOfficer), Chris Honey and Mike soon realised that the Club’sCMS couldbe adopted as the basis in applying for Clubmark accreditationfromSport England.
Clubmark is a national set of standards/criteriaandhas been developed in partnership with sport governing bodiesthatenable a sports organisation to achieve a desired standard in dutyofcare and child protection, sports equity and ethics, theplayingprogramme and Club management.
Dave worked closely with Danny Rylance(JuniorSection Manager) on an action list and the whole Club hasralliedtogether and enthusiastically, fully supported this ventureandprovided all the information needed to put into place theClub’sapplication for accreditation. For example Club history andhonours,evidence of support with local schools and the community,evidence ofsupporting the RFL guidelines, and a club development planhas beendevised covering the next 10 years, etc., etc.
Fortunately the Club already had trainedChildProtection Officers in Dave Picton and Ken Glover (later joined byAlanForber and Dave Yates) and Ray Jacks is our trainedCoachingCo-ordinator. Happily the efforts already put in, working withlocalschools by many coaches but perhaps most notably by Alan Forberand SteKerr has paid dividends.
Additionally, various other Club membersrequiredfurther formal training in a recognised RL Child Protectioncourse, RayJacks and Dave Yates attended Sports Coach UK’s "Equity in your coaching" and Danny Rylance and Janet Haselden attended Running Sport’s "A Club for All" aswellas most coaches and officials attending RL recognised FirstAidtraining, which was quite an investment in time and money both fromtheClub and from the volunteers involved. This clearly demonstratedthecommitment to continued improvement by everyone involved atThattoHeath Crusaders.
Benefits for Sport Governing Bodies?Afocus on their clubs and club development, more youngpeopleparticipating enjoyably, better quality players, betteryouthcompetition at all levels, better quality club level coaches,morevolunteers, more life-long participants, a nationalbenchmark,increased recognition for own schemes, increased recognitionfor clubs,and access to Sport England resources.
Benefits for Sports Clubs?Publicrecognition in the local community, listing and accreditationnoted onthe web site, membership of VIP, professional support, aclubdevelopment action plan, increased membership, moretalentedparticipants and better youth competition, improved policiesandprocedures, and a more efficient and effective club.
Benefits for parents and carers?Easyway to identify quality clubs for their children that have a) anactivejunior section, b) specialist children/young people sportscoaches, c)a full understanding of child protection issues thatimplement bestpractice in this respect, and d) an inclusive andequitable approach toall children and young people and a qualityprogramme that will givetheir children a quality experience.
Benefits for young people and children?Afocus on their participation, a quality sports experience in the clubincompetition, in training and coaching, a safe, friendlyenvironmentwhere people understand how to meet their needs andincreasedmotivation and self confidence
Dave Yates downloaded a Clubmark self-auditingtoolfrom the Sport England website and Mike Rush has helped enormouslywitha pre-application review.
It was decided at the main committee meetingof11th.March 2003 to approve and authorise the live release ofThattoHeath Crusaders Club Management System (CMS Issue No.1).
With Mike’s help, Dave forwarded theClub’sapplication pack to Andy Harland of the RFL on Friday 21st.Marchandwithin a short time the accreditation was gained on Tuesday25th.March2003.
As all our coaches and committee membersandvolunteers are all in e-mail contact, on behalf of the Club,Davedesigned the system to be primarily accessed electronically,althoughthe document can of course be printed. Hyperlinks have beenused so asingle click of the mouse moves the reader quickly through therelevantsections or parts of sections. Furthermore it is passwordprotected toprevent anyone making and saving unauthorisedmodifications, as we havea system of document control built into theCMS. No one is authorisedto make any changes without said changes beingauthorised by the maincommittee and the front sheet is to be signed bythe Chairman andSecretary (filed by the Secretary).
It is vital the 'frontline' Club members,i.e.,coaches and officials, embrace the contents of the CMS and adoptthepolicies described because without their ownership, co-operation,andcommitment to the system, it will just simply not work. TheClubrecognises this and is followed up the launch of the CMS with aformaltraining session in April at Knowsley Road using Saintsonlinefacilities, thanks again to Mike Rush.
"Parents and young people involved in theclubcan be reassured that the club has adequate policies and proceduresinplace to ensure that activities are safe, effective and childfriendly."
"It prompted the club to take a good look attheway in which it previously operated, we have built on our strengthsandintroduced new ideas to ensure that the club provides apositiveenvironment for all young people wishing to play rugby leaguewithThatto Heath Crusaders"
"The club has received excellent publicity which has increased public awareness of the club"
"It has increased the clubs awareness ofgrantsand funding which are available to clubs, and as a result theclub hasaccessed additional funding"
"It has ensured that the club offers areallysafe environment for young people to play rugby league butmostimportantly the scheme has increased the quality of its activities,ithas ensured that the club has addressed previous short falls,andhighlighted the importance for sports development planning tothefuture of the club in order to secure the growth andcontinualimprovement of the Club’s performance and service to itsmembers"
Dave Yates, Chris Honey & Danny Rylance