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How your club should work

The Club

The club is the most important basic unit of Gaelic games worldwide. The club is the heart of Gaelic games in the community and represents the community within the various Gaelic games associations. When you decide to set up a club there are a number of things to take into consideration:  

• Who will be the members of the club?
• Who will run the club?
What’s involved in running the club? 

The best place to start recruiting members for a club is by getting your friends together for some fun kicking a football around or having a hurling puck about in the park. Ask around at your local Irish pub, advertise in educational institutions/universities and use your social media contacts to encourage others to join you. When you have a good group of people together who are interested in helping to create a club you can then think about putting together a committee to facilitate the organisation and the management of Club activities. 

The Club Committeee

The committee of a club should be made up of a group of people who can share the responsibilities and work together to build the club together. There are many official roles available but in many cases clubs are run by a small group of volunteers who are dedicated to seeing their club succeed.  

As we are all volunteers most committee members share tasks and responsibilities between them. Sharing the work depends on finding people with whom to share it. There is no one way of doing this. It depends very much on personal contact and friendly persuasion, perhaps asking first for help with one special event. Never refuse an oer of help. Always support and praise, never discourage or criticise as this dissuades others. The main roles on the committee are: 

• Chairperson
Secretary
Treasurer
Public Relations Officer 

Role of the Club Chairperson 

The Chairperson is the principal officer of a Club. As well as chairing Club Executive Committee and other Club meetings, the Chairperson has prime responsibility for ensuring that the Club is a well organised, well managed and an active unit. 

The Chairperson should be dedicated to the job, have good communication skills, have the ability to delegate key tasks and above all, be a person of integrity in the community. The contribution of the Club Chairperson to the effective working of a Club can never be underestimated. 

Main duties of a Club Chairperson include:
•   
Provide leadership and management in the Club
•   Hold effective Club meetings
•   Uphold the Club constitution
•   Plan ahead for the Club
•   Delegate tasks to Club members
•   Uphold the mission, vision and values of the GAA 

Role of the Club Secretary 

The Secretary is the chief administrator in the Club. The duties are many and varied and call for a high degree of dedication. The Secretary has more to do with the practical running of the Club than any other officer. He/she should be a good organiser, be methodical and above all, be reliable. The duties dovetail with those of the Chairman and it is essential that both officers work as a team of which the Secretary will very often be the more active person. 

The main duties of the Club Secretary can be summarised as follows:
•   Communication: – With Club members and officers, with the County Secretary and County Committee
•   Meetings – Preparation for and follow up on assigned tasks, accurate recording of meeting minutes
•   Administration: (1) Correspondence and keeping records (2) Membership and registration (3) Team affiliation (4) Club property (5) Working with any Divisional Committee in the region and Gaelic Games Europe
•   Club Planning – Assisting in developing a Club plan 

Role of the Treasurer 

The Club Treasurer has responsibility for the safe-keeping of the funds of the Club. He/she is responsible for recording all income and expenditure and for reporting on the financial position of the Club to the Club Executive Committee on an on-going basis. 

It is important to note that the Treasurer does not have to be an accountant to perform this role. However, he/she must have the ability to record all financial transactions, control expenditure in the Club, plan and assist in fundraising and provide regular reports to the Club Executive. 

The Treasurer must not commit the Club to any expenditure for which prior approval has not been given and should also be in a position to give ample warning to the Club should funds be dwindling. 

The main duties of the Treasurer can be summarised as follows:
•   
Management of Club accounts
•   
Keeping records
•   
Preparation of financial statements
•   
Preparing a financial budget for the Club
•   
Fundraising in the Club 

Role of the Public Relations Officer (PRO) 

Communications is one of the most important activities for a club. The success of all clubs depends to some degree on the national and local image of the GAA. Everyone who has a role in their Club, no matter how small, has a part to play in effective communication. There is always a need for a proper flow of information in the Club so that everyone understands how the Club operates. 

The main function of the Club PRO is to communicate with the general public on behalf of the Club, presenting a positive image of the Club and GAA in the local community and beyond. Therefore, the PRO holds one of the most important officer positions in the Club. 

Remember:
1.    Public Relations is the practice of managing the flow of information between the Club and the public.
2.    No longer is it good enough for a Club to do good work: people must be told about it!
3.    The biggest mistake that a PRO can make is to assume that people know! 

The main duties of the PRO can be summarised as follows:
•   
Work as part of a team along with the other Club Officers, team mentors and the various sub committees in the Club
•   
Promote the Club to the local community and beyond using all available methods of communication
•   
Provide team lists, match results and all relevant information to the GGE PRO on time
•   
Keep records for historical purposes
•   
Make sure the Club is well presented 

Other Roles within Clubs

While the Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and the PRO are seen as the main officers of the committee, there are many other roles which can be filled such as: 

•   Vice-Chairman
•   
Assistant Secretary
•   
Assistant Treasurer
•   
Registrar
•   
Coaching Ocer
•   
Players representative
•   
Development Ocer
•   
Children’s Ocer
•   
Camogie, Football, Handball, Hurling or Ladies Football officers 

By getting more people involved in running and promoting the club you can keep people engaged and with a satisfying feeling that everyone is working for the success of their club.