NUI Galway Clubs: Leadership Development Programme
NUI Galway Alumni Leadership Programme for Sports Clubs
The NUI Galway Alumni Leadership Programme for Sports Clubs has been running since 2011. The purpose of the optional programme is to provide the club members with a structured framework for developing their clubs, with a framework for developing both a club strategy and developing their own leadership and management skills.
College clubs are faced with the critical challenge that the club members change so frequently, with new committees and new members every twelve months. This can make it particularly challenging for clubs to develop, as they suffer from the goldfish syndrome; every autumn the world is seen anew with no continuity from year to year. The Alumni Club Leadership Programme looks to address this challenge and to specifically:
1. Enable the club’s committee to develop a strategic framework for the club with medium to longer term goals.
2. Identify means by which the club membership will become enthused and committed to collectively bring the club’s capabilities and performance to new heights.
3. Learn how to implement an agreed plan and how to run meetings and make decisions in a structured, coherent and inclusive manner.
4. Individual and collective experiential learning* through working together on progressing agreed actions.
The output being a succinct presentation by each club on their club strategy and their requirements for the coming academic year, those requirements being a subset of the overall club strategy. The most successful strategic plan and presentation receive an award from the college. Each club presents to relevant management representatives in the University regarding their strategy and goals for the coming year. The standard of the presentations have been very strong to date. The impact on the clubs is largely based on the drive and commitment within the clubs to make things happen (which varies greatly from club to club). The emphasis of the programme for participants is taking ownership and responsibility for the development and direction of their club. There have been some very strong success stories in this context, particularly ladies hockey, ladies rugby and the boxing club.
*Note: Experiential learning, acquiring and applying the skills that will enable graduates to more readily successfully engage in a working environment, is being viewed with increasing focus by academic institutions as being critical to the well-being and success of the graduate student. It is envisaged that experiential learning will start to receive ‘academic credits’ in the near future.