By Brigid Curran
“CVI Continues on our pathway to Good Governance and this is in no small way thanks to the assistance of Vicsport.” -Calisthenics Victoria CEO
Calisthenics Victoria was chosen as one of eight State Sporting Associations to take part in Vicsport’s Change Management Project. Formed in 1986 Calisthenics Victoria or CVI is the peak body servicing the sport of Calisthenics in Victoria. The organisation brings all affiliated groups together and aims to facilitate growth for the sport state wide. There are over 100 clubs that are supported by the organisation across the state and 7600 participants.
Vicsport’s Change Management Project was designed to offer flexible and tailored support to individual organisations in order to improve the governance structures. The aim of the program was to build the overall capacity of sports in Victoria focusing on strengthening governance structures, improving board performance and developing robust policy frameworks.
Calisthenics Victoria had a large range of issues which it wanted to approach throughout the duration of the project. It was important that the board was committed to working towards adapting to the changes that were required in order to improve the operations of the organisation.
The main reason for Calisthenics Victoria’s participation in the project was to encourage the development and functionality of its board. Leading into the project, Calisthenics Victoria defined clear goals and objectives for what it wanted to achieve throughout the duration of the project. These included:
- Developing a clean governance structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities
- Producing an executive of nine or less persons
- Creating a plan for board succession
- Drawing up a revised constitution which removes the blurred lines between governance and management.
One of the main goals that were listed by CVI was to develop an executive team of nine or less and to ensure there was a clear terms of reference readily available. This goal highlighted some of the main issues approaching the organisation, considering that its original governance structure prior to the project operated with a 17 person representative “Committee of Management”.
The objectives included:
- A review of the current governance structure, board effectiveness, the policies and procedures
- Clarification of board members roles- identifying skill sets required at board level
- Providing development and training for board members
- Suggesting constitutional amendments where appropriate
Vicsport facilitated a great deal of the changes that took place throughout the project assisting in a smoother change process. This is due to fact that they act as an independent body to Calisthenics Victoria ensuring confidence and independence when retrieving data like survey answers, this was vital to the overall success of the project.
The Good Governance Toolkit was used as a point of reference throughout the duration of the project as it offers practical information that assists in developing the quality of corporate governance in sporting organisations.
As part of their involvement, Calisthenics Victoria took part in a performance review and skills audit in November 2013. This resulted in a series of recommendations and actions which were suggested to further improve the effectiveness of the Committee of Management and the overall governance of the organisation.
Calisthenics Victoria affected the most significant change across the project. The structural improvements affected within Calisthenics Victoria governance through involvement in the project include;
- 114 Constitutional amendments which brought their governance structure in line with industry benchmarks, this included a key reduction in board size and structure
- Establishment of a “Good Governance Working Party” to deliver the developed Action Plan
- The following governance documents and policies developed: Board Charter, Board Role Description, Board Code of Conduct, Board Election Kit and Board Induction Policy
Calisthenics Victoria made a formal commitment to strengthening its governance structures by endorsing the Good Governance Action Plan for its organisation. The Good Governance Working Party was developed to assist the existing Committee of Management by providing leadership for the delivery of the Good Governance Action Plan. The team is chaired by the President of Calisthenics Victoria, Angela Wijeratne and currently comprises of 4 members, Steve Antrobus, Wayne Jones and Matthew Brown.
The role of the Good Governance Working Party is vital to the ongoing success of the Action Plan. Its responsibilities include but are not limited to fostering collaboration, removing obstacles in order to successfully a deliver a good governance model for Calisthenics Victoria, maintaining the focus of Calisthenics Victoria, continually measuring the delivery and progress of the Good Governance Action Plan and to reporting back to the board.
Overall the initiation of this Change Management project, led by Vicsport’s Kate Green, was a catalyst for substantive development for Calisthenics Victoria. By implementing the changes that were suggested by Vicsport and the supporting data and statistics, Calisthenics Victoria was able to take this opportunity to plan for its future and assist in the ongoing success of the organisation as a whole.
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