Review seeks to ease burden on volunteers

DECREASING volunteer workload and hours was a key goal of AFL Wimmera-Mallee’s draft review recommendations.

One club official during Monday night’s meeting said it took one thousand hours of volunteer work each week to run a club. With decreasing populations, the draft review recommends the commission develops a service to help clubs with their administration.

The report suggests by merging the three boards the cost saving would allow the new entity to help out clubs with insurance claims and Working with Children compliance at a minimum through a club assistance program. 

The report reads: “Clubs have spoken loudly that they want assistance with compliance and complexity. The club assistance program will provide a non-club aligned service that reduces the requirement of current volunteers.”

Other areas of help the commission could assist with cited in the report also includes grant applications, player registration, merchandise, sponsorship and general club administration. 

Warrack Eagles president Adrian Bibby said he thought the review made a positive step forward in addressing the challenges clubs face.

“I thought it did address volunteer workload, it had some good suggestions that could certainly lighten the volunteer load,” he said. “I think they have made some good ground in that area. It is difficult running a club and even when you find that you’re putting in a lot of work sometimes when things don’t go quite right you do get some criticism.

“There’s just not quite enough of us to go around and that’s not going to change. Anything this report can come up with to lighten the hours needed at club level is obviously going to make it better moving forward.”