The work of the County Development Officer will be more effective if there is liaison with each Division/Club through a person appointed to look after development in the Club. It is recommended that all clubs appoint a Development Officer to allow for improved communication and better coordination of development matters between the County Development Officer/Committee and the Club. Development is more than about developing Club facilities.
It is about developing the Club as a unit in terms of administration and activity. While the Club Chairperson plays a key role in initiating the development of a Club plan, a development officer will assist greatly in its implementation.
The Development Officer should seek ways to improve the general organisation, structure and efficiency of the Club unit and ways to improve the facilities in the Club. He/she should ensure that the Club is availing of all administration resources and education programmes provided by the GAA for the Club.
- Work with all new potential clubs and guide them through the process of affiliation to the GAA. Guide them through the need to know regulations for start-up.
- Manage the Global Games Development Fund (or equivalent) in conjunction with the Executive Committee.
- Be aware of any available resources for clubs and make sure that clubs get that information.
- Constantly revise and update information and resources packs that can help new and established clubs.
Affiliating a New Club
It is the Club Development Officer’s responsibility to take any new club through the affiliation process, helping them before and after affiliation in getting up and running.
Initial contact – This can happen in various forms. Bear in mind that most new potential clubs will have no idea that they need to affiliate nor how this should be done. This is not likely to be the case in areas where there are already a lot of clubs such as Toronto, where they will have plenty of local resources. Divisional Committee officers are a likely to be aware of potential clubs and they should inform the Development Officer. Scanning of Facebook will also throw up such information. In any case, the Development Officer needs to get in touch with this group as soon as possible.
Once contact is established, it should be made clear to the new group that there is no pressure on them to affiliate and that it is more important for them to focus on on-field activity. However, they cannot play any games, including friendlies, until they affiliate. The minimum number of members they need is 15 in Canada, as regulated in the Official Guide. If a new club is not ready to affiliate, they might want to consider registering their players with a nearby club. This way they can focus on games and could compete under the “B” or “C” team of the affiliated club until they are ready to affiliate.
Once a club decides to affiliate the steps are as follows:
- Hold an AGM and elect a Chairperson, Secretary, PRO & Treasurer.
- Complete the New Club Affiliation Form.
- Affiliation – The Development Officer should check the form to make sure all is correct. S/He should also check that there are no potential issues behind the application.