Code for Sports Governance is Opportunity for Sports

Code for Sports Governance is Opportunity for Sports

Sport England and UK Sport has this week launched a new Code for Sports Governance that sets out the levels of transparency, accountability and financial integrity that will be required for Government and National Lottery funding from April 2017.

The business of sport has become evermore complex to navigate, putting increased pressure on teams and those entrusted to manage them. In explaining the reasoning behind the code, Sport England highlights the challenge of increasing diversity in sport boardrooms, arguing that the code should be used as a tool to “further nurture the growing culture of good governance we already see on a daily basis.”

The new code, which provides more transparency on how sports organisations can ensure they receive enough funding is very welcome. Some sports teams struggle to secure sponsorship, particularly if they are lesser known, or searching deep into the off-season. Reliable funding is essential to maintaining excellence and performing well on the World and International competition stage.

The code looks set to simplify the process, and will likely decrease rivalries as it will be clearer as to why team x has had more funding than team y. The money that comes from Government and The National Lottery is essential in maintaining training facilities and equipment, paying for expertise, research, travel, as well as helping to develop and discover the next great athletes.

The code, described by the authors as ‘the new gold standard of governance’ can only be seen as a positive contribution to the space. By being better organised, sports teams will be able to become more competitive and improve reputations.

As of April 2017, in order to meet the new code, organisations will need to demonstrate good governance through transparency, accountability and financial integrity.

To achieve the gold accreditation, teams need to be able to improve organisational processes and make decision-making intelligent. The code talks about more transparency as part of governance, implying the need for better and more evidenced decision-making processes.

Improved decision-making processes can be achieved by taking a more analytical approach to day to day work. For example when selecting a team for competition, it is just as important for coaches to explain the reasoning behind athletes being selected for a place in the team as it is to the athletes who have been overlooked. It is in more transparent and evidence-based work where sports teams can develop more open and positive development and learning environments.

The code, rather than additional box-ticking, should therefore be seen as an opportunity for the world of high-performance sport to add real value to teams, encouraging an improvement in processes.

At Pace Insights, we’re committed to doing everything we can to support teams in achieving their gold accreditation and taking the chance to improve their decision-making processes, not only to meet UK Sport’s governance standards, but to improve performance also.