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Thread: Sports Federation Section 21

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    Sports Federation Section 21

    I am involved in a Sports Federation in the SASCOC fold.

    It took many years of bitter squabbling to force the federation to become inclusive and adopt a democratic constitution. This after pressure from SASCOC SRSA and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport.

    Whereas all thought that the problems had thus been solved a new challenge reared its head. What a democratic constitution was supposed to achieve it did not, as the federation politics still kept inefficiency and incompetence in power. No structures in the federation made provision for the removal of these elements within an acceptable timeframe.

    The New Sports Act does make provision for conflict resolution but that route is laborious and time consuming a bit of a 'monster'

    The question is:

    Would the adoption of Corporate Governance in terms of the King 3 code and conversion to a Section 21 Company be the only avenue?

    The federation can afford the costs involved.

    Once again the challenge is to have a mechanism in place to rectify and fire incompetent and inefficient office bearers as fast as is legally possible.An Accountable Federation

    It would be appreciated if those forum members who have experience or opinions on this issue participate.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Corporate Governance is a crude sledgehammer that limits abuse. But reading your post, I suggest your real problem is the quality of leadership.

    What you probably need is a constitution that allows good leaders to rise fairly quickly and poor leaders to be removed just as fast - which means you should probably be taking a close look at revising the elective processes of your constitution.

    I doubt your problems are going to go away until you get a great leader at the helm that can unite the factions or at least get them moving towards a common goal that everyone can buy in to.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Without having sight of the constitution of the organisation, I can only speculate (with a S21 you probably only have articles). No amount of great leadership is sustainable, and if there is money in the particular sport, it will always attract opportunists. Witness various glamour sports that run ok for a while, then end up in squabbles. The best bet is to work towards a constitution (articles) that properly regulates behaviour and tenure - two terms max, and if it's an Olympic sport, that could 2 x 4 years). Try and get people onto the executive who will support governance principles - you do not need a fully-fledged King3 environment. However, introducing King3 principles would at least put the issues on the table. Bear in mind that King3 is not as prescriptive as it sounds, given the 'comply or explain' provision, and the fact that these are guidelines and not neessrily law.

    You may also wish to check the updated provisions in the new Companies Act - a lot of King guidelines have supposedly been adopted - I have not looked at it with specific reference to S21 companies.

  4. Thank given for this post:

    AndyD (04-May-11), BusFact (03-May-11), Dave A (03-May-11)

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    I've been involved in sport administration for a while and I must say that I've found that there are always people willing to stand for positions either for the status, no-one else is interested, or as an opportunity to gain some benefit and then you get the exception where there is someone who actually takes the job and associated responsibility serious.

    There is also the tendancy among administrators where responsibility is shirked by saying that they might be on the executive boards but they are only volunteers. This is exactly the problem because sport administration isn't a hobby anymore, large amounts of money are involved, not even mentioning the main objective which is to produce champions and the promotion of sport.

    A good constitution goes a long way but if the "wrong" people are in power, democracy goes out of the window and nobody is held accountable for mal-administration.

    Personally I feel a Section 21 organisation provides enough structure to promote good governance and also promotes an athmosphere of professionalism which is currently sorely missing in a number of organisations. Office-bearers will know that they will be held accountable for mal-administration and hopefully this fact will make opportunists think twice before accepting a nomination.

  6. Thank given for this post:

    AndyD (05-May-11), Dave A (05-May-11)

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    Thank you for all the contributions, we have resolved to investigate the Company route. Does the New Companies Act make provision for Section 21?

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