The Hibiscus Coast Association Football Club is about half way through a strategic planning process. The process, initiated by Northern Football, and supported by Harbour Sport, has already seen benefits for the club who had been intending to develop their strategic plan to ensure they were meeting the needs of their community.
The Hibiscus Coast Football Club has just completed its community stakeholder survey where members and all other stakeholders were asked to provide feedback about all aspects of the club, and indicate some future initiatives the club could undergo. Club president Scott Beard believes that “the feedback from the members has been insightful and validated the beliefs of the committee on where the club should be heading in the future”.
Hibiscus Coast Football had over 200 respondents answer questions about their strengths and weaknesses and what future direction and opportunities should be taken. The Hibiscus Coast Football has now formed a strategic planning subcommittee to assess the data gathered and develop a draft plan.
The strengths of the club highlighted include the locations available, the quality of the fields, the current large membership and potential growth due to the large catchment area. The club was also seen as a having good communication to its members, quality strength of teams, great culture, and a committed group of members/volunteers in the organisation.
The biggest weakness identified by the survey is the facilities. The club has grown significantly over the years and the clubrooms, the number and quality of fields limit the club to operate at the a level to meet local needs now, let alone the future needs. The lighting needs improvement to allow for more training time through the season. Another critical factor identified is the ability to develop and retain coaches to ensure a quality experience for all members. With increasing numbers there is a need for good coaching, so there is a reliance on parent coaching. This is ok if they have some formal training and understand all roles of the coach in the athlete pathway. Finally the need to develop the female programme in the club was identified as critical. There is a need to for more female players and coaches to help support the growth of women’s football in New Zealand. The club will struggle to continue grow without addressing these issues. It is important to meet the needs of the increasing population in the region, to ensure a quality football experience.
The committee had already identified these factors but the survey helped reinforce the importance of developing a plan to hopefully address these needs. Scott highlighted the fact that if you do not provide quality for your participant, through facilities and quality coaching you risk that the local players will move on and choose another sport or activity. He says that the planning process has helped the cub look at what we do and how we do it.
“Ultimately we want to do the best we can so any participant has a fun, quality experience playing football at our club.”
The next step in the process will see the subcommittee investigate the findings in detail and develop the key strategic priorities for the next 3–5 years. These will be developed into the strategic plan, and then consulted again, before the plan will be embedded in the day-to-day activities of the club.