SASMA'S New Project!
Sports and exercise have long term benefits, however there is also a risk that those partaking in such will sustain injuries or ill health from these activities. It is for this reason that International Sports Governing bodies (such as FIFA) have a responsibility to identify the risks that exist within their sport and to provide guidelines to participants and other stakeholders on how these risks can be controlled within acceptable levels. Risk management provides a formal framework so sporting clubs can identify, classify and investigate risks using logical and transparent protocols.
The identification of a duty of care is a preliminary step in establishing that a defendant has behaved negligently towards a claimant. In negligence actions relating to sports, where for example a participant has been injured due to alleged fault of the sport’s organising body, the duty of care between the parties lies along a spectrum that is, in professional sport almost contractual in nature; to one which in amateur sport is based on the assumption of responsibility.
It is for these reasons that at the community level of SA sporting clubs a resource will be developed in order to safe guard clubs from insurance claims and provide consistent policy to reduce liability. It will entail looking at the elite level and the protocols in place and determining how that filters down to the community sporting club level.
This exciting initiative is being taken on by our new Project Officer, Gabrielle Fisher, who joined the SASMA team in the middle of this year. Her aim is to develop an online resource to assist clubs in the areas of player health and well-being, and liability and risk management in relation to sports injuries and illness. The three key areas that the online resource is going to be focused around are club management, club facilities and injury management.
At this stage lots of research around policy, surveys with SA Sporting Clubs and correspondence with Sports Governing Bodies, Associations and some of our Professional Members has been the focus for Gabby. She is very excited to continue her work and to have the elements all come together into a website that becomes a ‘one-stop-shop’ for sporting clubs around public liability and risk management.