House of help

REGIONAL clubs could soon have direct access to some of the best assistance in the country when Ipswich's Sports House opens.

After expressions of interest close on November 3, an executive officer and 10 officers will work under the umbrella of a Sports House to help more than 80 sporting organisations in the area.

With three years of funding from the Department of Sport and Recreation, Ipswich City Council has pushed ahead with the joint initiative to set up a vital information centre in the city.

"Basically we'll provide lots of services," Ipswich councillor David Morrison said.

"The idea is that they (the Sports House staff) become self sufficient within three years."

The Sports House will initially be located on Level 4 at the Hayden Centre in South Street.

It is envisaged services will be available from March, hopefully in time for the start of 2012 winter seasons.

All regional sporting organisations will be invited to use the facility.

"As from November, those officers will be out there contacting those clubs saying 'we are set up, how can we help and this is how we can help'," Cr Morrison said.

"From March next year, they will offer the services."

Cr Morrison said planned benefits for clubs would be direct access to development, business ideas, strategic and operational planning and marketing.

Clubs will also be assisted with governance, commercial opportunities, training and organising major carnivals.

"We've been looking at various Sports Houses around the country and learning the pros and cons from each club and really, none of them fitted exactly what we wanted here in Ipswich," Cr Morrison said.

"So we've developed our own sort of model."

Cr Morrison said Ipswich was believed to be the first in Queensland to receive direct funding from the State Government for the project.

"Under previous funding arrangements with the Department of Sport and Rec, clubs or codes could actually apply for a sport and rec officer," he said. "But not many clubs were taking up that offer.

"These new officers will be there to really help clubs develop, regardless of their code in Ipswich."

Vital Assistance

An Ipswich Sport House could provide valuable help in:

Club development - such as business ideas, strategic planning, marketing and sales, financial and legal advice;

Business services: Like secretarial, conference and meeting rooms, bookkeeping;

Education and training: Club administration, first aid, coaching courses, seminars;

Professional services: Grants, event management, sponsorship, fundraising, functions.

More information: Phone 3810 6053, or email: sports

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