The GAA Club
The GAA club is the most important basic unit of Gaelic games worldwide. The club is the heart of Gaelic games in the community and represents the community within the associations (GAA/LGFA/CA etc.). When you decide to formally create a club there are a number of things to take into consideration:
- Who will be the members of the club?
- Who will run the club?
- What’s involved in running the club?
The best place to start recruiting members for a club is by getting your friends together for some fun kicking a football around or having a puck about in the park. Ask at your local Irish pub or use your social media contacts to encourage others to join you. When you have a good group of people together who are interested in helping to create a club you can then think about putting together a committee to facilitate the organization and the management of Club activities.
The committee of a club should be made up of a group of people who can share the responsibilities and work together to build the club together. There are many official roles available but in many cases clubs are run by a small group of volunteers who are dedicated to seeing their club succeed.
As we are all volunteers most committee members share tasks and responsibilities between them. Sharing the work depends on ﬁnding people with whom to share it. There is no one way of doing this. It depends very much on personal contact and friendly persuasion, perhaps asking ﬁrst for help with one special event. Never refuse an oﬀer of help. Always support and praise, never discourage or criticize as this dissuades others. The main roles on the committee are:
- Public Relations Officer
Role of An Cathaoirleach – The Club Chairperson
The Chairperson is the principal officer of a GAA Club. As well as chairing Club Executive Committee and other Club meetings, the Chairperson has prime responsibility for ensuring that the Club is a well organized, well managed and an active unit.
The Chairperson should be dedicated to the job, have good communication skills, have the ability to delegate key tasks and above all, be a person of integrity in the community. The contribution of the Club Chairperson to the effective working of a Club can never be underestimated.
The main duties of the Club Chairperson are summarized as follows:
- Provide leadership and management in the Club
- Hold effective Club meetings
- Uphold the Club constitution
- Plan ahead for the Club
- Delegate tasks to Club members
- Uphold the mission, vision and values of the GAA
Role of An Runaí – The Club Secretary
The Secretary is the chief administrator in the Club. The duties are many and varied and call for a high degree of dedication. The Secretary has more to do with the practical running of the Club than any other officer. He/she should be a good organizer, be methodical and above all, be reliable. The duties dovetail with those of the Chairman and it is essential that both officers work as a team of which the Secretary will very often be the more active person.
The main duties of the Club Secretary are summarized as follows:
- Communication: – With Club members and officers, with the County Secretary and County Committee
- Meetings – Preparation for and follow up on assigned tasks, accurate recording of meeting minutes
- Administration: (1) Correspondence and keeping records (2) Membership and registration (3) Team affiliation (4) Club Insurance (5) Club property (6) Working with County/Divisional Committee/Board
- Club Planning – Assisting in developing a Club plan
Role of an Cisteoir – Role of the Treasurer
The Club Treasurer has responsibility for the safe-keeping of the funds of the Club. He/she is responsible for recording all income and expenditure and for reporting on the financial position of the Club to the Club Executive Committee on an on-going basis.
It is important to note that the Treasurer does not have to be an accountant to perform this role. However, he/she must have the ability to record all financial transactions, control expenditure in the Club, plan and assist in fundraising and provide regular reports to the Club Executive.
The Treasurer must not commit the Club to any expenditure for which prior approval has not been given and should also be in a position to give ample warning to the Club should funds be dwindling.
The main duties of the Treasurer can be summarized as follows:
- Management of Club accounts
- Keeping records
- Preparation of financial statements
- Preparing a financial budget for the Club
- Fundraising in the Club
Role of an Oifigeach Caidrimh Phoiblí – Public Relations Officer (PRO)
Communications is one of the most important activities in the Association. The success of all units depends to some degree on the national and local image of the Association. Everyone in the GAA who has a role in their Club, no matter how small, has a part to play in effective communication. There is always a need for a proper flow of information in the Club so that everyone understands how the Club operates.
The main function of the Club PRO is to communicate with the general public on behalf of the Club, presenting a positive image of the Club and Cumann Lúthchleas Gael in the local community and beyond. Therefore, the PRO holds one of the most important officer positions in the Club.
- Public Relations is the practice of managing the flow of information between the Club and the public.
- No longer is it good enough for a Club to do good work: people must be told about it!
- The biggest mistake that a PRO can make is to assume that people know!
The main duties of the PRO are summarized as follows:
- Work as part of a team along with the other Club Officers, team mentors and the various sub committees in the Club
- Promote the Club to the local community and beyond using all available methods of communication
- Provide team lists, match results and all relevant information to the County PRO on time
- Keep records for historical purposes
- Make sure the Club is well presented
While the Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and the PRO are seen as the main officers of the committee, there are many other roles which can be filled such as:
- Coaching Oﬃcer
- Children’s Oﬃcer
- Players representative
- Development Oﬃcer
- Children’s Oﬃcer
- Football officer
- Hurling & Camogie officer
By getting more people involved in running and promoting the club you can keep people engaged and with a satisfying feeling that everyone is working for the success of their club.