The UK has achieved great things in a whole range of different sports in recent years, from having all four finalists in Europe’s premier football competitions - the Champions League and the Europa League - to a swathe of victories at cycling’s Tour de France, as well as in sports ranging from gymnastics to rowing to taekwondo.
These achievements have been built on the back of an increasingly professional approach to sports organization and funding. At the same time, sport and its stars are increasingly more high-profile and Sporting Federations in the UK have suffered a whirlwind of governance challenges in recent years, from high-profile allegations of abuse and bullying to safeguarding and duty of care concerns, as well as controversies around issues ranging from funding to sustainability.
Couple that with the unprecedented amounts of money flowing into sport, and it is more important than ever that sport governing bodies conduct themselves in a way that is beyond reproach, in order to protect the value for money the public receives from investment into sport and maximise the effectiveness of those investments.
This means that Sporting Federations have to take decisions that are frequently complex, commercial, multi-disciplinary and high-profile in nature.
Yet the leadership of Sports Federations can still be volunteers or a mixture of paid administrators and volunteer executives, with both financial and human resources under strain. Good governance is crucial to ensure that sports associations know what the expectations on them are, that they are seen to be doing the right thing and to maintain confidence in the association.
To help Sporting Federations run themselves properly, a while back the government asked Sport England and UK Sport to come up with a new code of conduct, which requires organizations to “have a clear and appropriate governance structure, led by a Board which is collectively responsible for the long-term success of the organization and exclusively vested with the power to lead it.”
Other prerequisites include encouraging diversity, upholding high standards of integrity and complying with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as undertaking responsible financial strategic planning, and having appropriate controls and risk management procedures.
The code also means that sports associations must now be “transparent and accountable, engaging effectively with stakeholders and nurturing internal democracy”.
All of these obligations, which are mandatory for Federations looking for government funding, can be pretty daunting for Sporting Federations’ leaders but when it comes to being transparency, accountability, engagement and internal democracy, at least, help is at hand.
At Lumi, we have been working with Sporting Federations both here in the UK, but also with some of the biggest and longest established Sporting Federations in the world, to help provide the high standards of governance that are now established across the sporting world.
Our technology facilitates smooth and reliable electronic voting, to ensure the results of complex elections, resolutions and votes on other issues are both transparent and accountable. In fact, our technology recently powered one of the most high-profile and complex votes we have ever carried out, to select the new President of the ISSF and its council members. Our unique voting solution was vital in validating the vote in a highly contentious election, and our instant, accurate and transparent reporting gave the members confidence in the outcome.
From making your annual meetings more engaging, to managing voting, Q&A and boosting member participation, our platform will streamline your annual meeting or congress whilst meeting the strict requirements of your governance code.
If you’d like to remind yourself of the Code of Sport Governance then you can view the report here
For more information, click here to contact one of the team.