Club Conference 2021

Clancy Larsen


The 2021 intervarsity Club Conference took place on Tuesday 13 April, providing a unique opportunity for sport clubs from South Australia’s three major universities to come together, share ideas, and build leadership skills. The conference aimed to equip club leaders with the tools to remain resilient and self-sustainable amidst the challenges faced in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Over 90 club members, leaders and sports staff attended the day at the Adelaide University Graduates Clubrooms, with 31 people representing UniSA’s various club and sport activities. Sessions included presentations around mental health support for club committee members and how to establish sustainable income streams, plus opportunities for clubs from UniSA, University of Adelaide and Flinders University to share their recent successes and innovations with each other.

Students and presenters in front of 3 university banners

Key takeaways from the sessions included how sport and sporting clubs can support and drive conversations about mental health, and how to access resources to ensure the mental wellbeing of all club members. Clubs also learnt about how to diversify their income streams to develop self-sufficient financial strategies, including advice on fee structures, fundraising, grant applications and sponsorships.

The Club Innovations session challenged clubs to consider the changing needs of University students and the wider community, and how they might evolve to suit those needs. A panel of members from each university, including a representative from the UniSA Rock Climbing Club, discussed different aspects of their recent challenges and successes. Discussion points included recruitment, succession planning, programs, competitions, membership product and volunteering.

A big thankyou goes out to Adelaide University Sport for hosting the day. We’re thankful to John Manion (from Breakthrough Mental Health), Richard Mellon (formerly of the Office for Recreation and Sport) and Kristen Thomas and Daniel Cocks (Good Sports) for their informative and interactive presentations. Thanks as well to session facilitators Erin Haines of Netball SA and University sport staff from Adelaide University, Flinders University and UniSA who helped club members connect and collaborate.

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