THE club development officer is a vitally important role within the club and the club executive should give great consideration of the remit of the club development officer.
This person should ensure the club are prepared for the demands and opportunities that will impact on the club in the future. A key to being a successful club development officer is the ability to keep a few steps ahead, and not to be pre-occupied with day-to-day issues, and ‘fire-fighting’.
In this regard, it is very important that the club development officer has a real sense of where the club wishes to be in several years’ time with all strategic decisions made in-line with the club’s development plan.
A club development officer should be well-versed in all areas of club business; governance, duty of care, culture and heritage, community enhancement, and coaching and games development. However, he or she should not be busied with a lot of hands-on work in any particular area. Rather it is more important that the club development officer ensures that the structures are in place to achieve all goals outlined in the club’s development plan.
The club development officer should work with the relevant officers within each area to support their work. For example, the club development officer should liaise closely with the treasurer, or fundraising sub-committee in planning fundraising events through-out the year.
Essential to the role of the club development officer is the club’s development plan. The officer plays a central role in developing, implementing and monitoring the club development plan.
If your club does not have a development plan you should contact your county planning and training officer or Ulster GAA, who will appoint a club planner to assist your club through the process from which your club development plan will emerge.
The club development officer also needs to have an ability to respond to current issues. They should have their finger on the pulse in terms of Club Maith, GAA strategy at County, Provincial and National Level.
A relationship with local schools, councils, statutory organisations, and Sport NI/Irish Sports Council is very important. Often opportunities for funding surface momentarily and it is critical that the club development officer is able to react quickly. Acquiring and maintaining a state of readiness is key.
In order to equip himself/herself with the adequate knowledge and expertise, the club development officer should have a strong working relationship with the county planning and training officer, and Ulster GAA staff. More information on this can be found at www.ulster.gaa.ie/club-maith.