Sports governance in the headlines

The past few weeks have seen corporate governance in sporting organisations become headline news. From the Netball Australia “mutiny” to the Australian Olympic Committee Presidential vote, has governance of sporting entities ever had so much media coverage?

This has to be a good thing. Less issues swept under the carpet and backroom dealings and more transparency, accountability and good governance.

John Coates has been re-elected as President of the AOC 58 votes to 35 after facing an opposing candidate (in Danni Roche) for the first time in some 30 odd years. Although the campaign got down and dirty at times, if ┬ánothing else it has brought to a head internal and external issues the AOC must address and deal with to move forward in a manner that benefits its ultimate stakeholders – Aussie athletes.

The removal of the Chair of Netball Australia and subsequent board election brought netball governance and politics into a public space it had not seen prior to the highly publicized Suncorp Super League and rising profile of the Aussie Diamonds.

One thing I do think has been forgotten in the media frenzy is that often the structure and constitution of the organisation is what is fundamentally wrong. It’s no use whinging about individuals who are duly elected in accordance with the rules. If the governance structure is not best practice then that is what needs to be fixed from the bottom up. This applies from grassroots clubs and organisations to the top echelon of professional sport.

I look forward to continued accountability and recognition of strong leadership and governance in the sporting industry.

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