Midwest WA sporting clubs are training for more than just the playing field, with their leaders coming together to upskill themselves through a newly launched program.
The Midwest Leaders Network, formed by local non-profit Midwest Sports Federation and the state government’s Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, held its first meeting earlier this month.
The department’s Craig Vinci said the free program was bringing local leaders together, to build their capacity and “future-proof” the sport industry.
“They can take back the skills and development and upskilling opportunities that we can provide them back to their local club environment and pass those skills on to those that are at their volunteer level at their club,” he said.
“The feedback has been extremely positive so far.
“The opportunity to gather together and to work on common challenges moving forward is definitely seen as a benefit for the Midwest region.”
Volunteer roles key
He said the challenges the group was focusing on included volunteer burnout, club governance and funding issues.
“The challenges around volunteers not necessarily knowing what their role is … or how you can potentially attract new volunteers,” he said.
“And what you’re trying to achieve as a club in your local sporting environment.”
Midwest Sports Federation project officer Kelly Eastough said a “wide range of people” were involved in the program, including sport and community leaders from Geraldton, Chapman Valley, Northampton, and Mullewa.
“We’ve got people that have been around for a long time with lots of experience, and we’ve got some new up-and-coming people that are on committees and wanting to know more about it,” she said.
She said sport and recreation played a huge part in the Midwest.
“I think it goes hand in hand, sport and community,” Ms Eastough said.
“So why would we not try and invest in that?”