Underpinning the access to and enjoyment of sport is the commitment and effort of sporting organisations across Australia. In order to help sporting organisations deliver more positive sport experiences more regularly, Sport Australia has released the updated Sport Governance Principles.

Governance is not only relevant to large national sporting organisations; it is important for all organisations in our sector. It is for this reason that these Sport Governance Principles were co-designed through a whole-of-sector engagement.

These principles can be used throughout the Australian sport sector, from small local clubs to large national organisations, although the details and explanations tend to be most applicable to national sporting organisations and state/territory sporting organisations.

The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing is committed to working with state sport and active recreation organisations to develop and implement a philosophy of good governance and continuous improvement, using the Sport Governance Framework (incorporating the Principles; Education, Support, and Resources; Evaluation and Assurance) to underpin these values.

The Sports Governance Principles are:

  • Principle 1: The spirit of the game—values-driven culture and behaviours
  • Principle 2: The team—aligned sport through collaborative governance
  • Principle 3: The gameplan—a clear vision that informs strategy
  • Principle 4: The players—a diverse board to enable considered decision-making
  • Principle 5: The rulebook—documents that outline duties, powers, roles and responsibilities
  • Principle 6: The playbook—board processes which ensure accountability and transparency
  • Principle 7: The defence—a system which protects the organisation
  • Principle 8: The best and fairest—a system for ensuring integrity
  • Principle 9: The scorecard—embedded systems of internal review to foster continuous improvement

Sport Australia has produced a podcast series aimed at helping Australia’s sporting leaders – many of them volunteers - face the challenges of COVID-19 and to build a stronger sporting future through governance. These podcasts focus on bringing the Governance Principles ‘to life’ with sporting leaders sharing their experiences and practical advice.