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Sport Sector Organisational Health

Need help?

Please contact the Office of Sport, Sector Capability and Performance Team, Sport Development Group:

Phone: 13 13 02

Other Organisations or websites that can assist with governance

Just like athletes constantly monitor and improve their performance, the sport sector should do the same. With the changing nature of how sport is played, accessed and consumed, the Office of Sport is committed to support the sport sector in improving its organisational health to better meet these opportunities and challenges.

The NSW Government supports State Sporting Organisations (SSOs) and State Sporting Organisations for people with disabilities (SSODs) to remain healthy and viable to reflect the Government’s vision to enhance the lives of the people of NSW through a valued and vibrant sport and active recreation sector.

Each year, these organisations deliver sporting opportunities for 2.5 million participants throughout the state from grass roots to elite level sport.

Most SSOs and SSODs in NSW are membership-based and dependent on the invaluable contributions of volunteers. Apart from a small number of SSOs, most NSW sporting organisations are operated and governed by volunteers who also act as coaches, officials, administrators, media liaison and fund-raising champions.

State Sporting Organisation Benchmarking and Organisational Health Research Project

The Office of Sport has a target within its Strategic Plan that 80 percent of SSO’s have a sound organisational health rating by 2020. In this context, in mid-late 2017 the Office of Sport undertook significant research and analysis with 78 SSO's and 19 SSODs. 

The aim of the Project was:

  • to identify key benchmarks to define what sound organisational health means for the Sport Sector
  • to develop a survey framework that could be used by both the Sport Sector and the Office of Sport to measure the levels of organisational health in SSOs and SSODs
  • to use the survey framework to develop a self-assessment diagnostic tool that could be used by the Sport Sector at any time to assess their levels of organisational health.

Review of Organisational Health

The first aim of the Project was to better understand what ‘sound’ organisational health. A review was undertaken of organisational health benchmarking projects in the not-for-profit sector in Australia and New Zealand regarding what constitutes organisational health in the not-for-profit sector.

The review includes considerations of various benchmarking surveys and highlights the common themes and key learnings from those surveys. The six common Key Indicator areas highlighted by the review include:

  • Governance: related to the organisation's structure, constitution, membership, voting rights, compliance with applicable legislation, policies and the operation and composition of the Board.
  • Financial management: focused on financial ratios as indicators of financial health and practices adopted by the organisation.
  • Leadership, culture and integrity: considered behaviours of the organisation, staff practices, volunteers and the integrity measures the organisation has in place.
  • Strategy/strategic plan: addressed strategic and operational plans, a digital strategy and expenditure on "back of house" (administrative) functions.
  • Delivery: how an organisation delivers its services, how it collects and stores data, how it approaches the inclusion of people with a disability, and how an organisation trains and develops its coaches and officials.
  • Risk management and accountability: related to insurance, risk mitigation tools, access to professional advice, recruitment and training and measures in place for working with children.

Review of Organisational Health Benchmarking Projects (June 2017)

State Sporting Organisation Health Survey

Since 2017, the Office of Sport has undertaken an annual survey of the 95 State Sporting Organisations and State Sporting Organisations for people with disability that are recognised by the Office of Sport.
Each State Sporting Organisation that completes the survey receives an instant copy of their results. This includes a report that provides links to additional resources on areas that they may need improvement on.

Survey methodology
Find out more information on the survey methodology.
All survey responses are self-reported by the State Sporting Organisations.

Results dashboard

State Sporting Organisation Health Survey Report 2017/18 – 2018/19
The Office of Sport has produced an in-depth report that draws together insights from the 2017/18 and 2018/19 State Sporting Organisation Health Surveys.

State Sporting Organisation Health Survey Results 2017/18 – 2018/19

A note about organisational health
It is acknowledged that there is not a single 'right' way of structuring and operating a State Sporting Organisation or State Sporting Organisation for people with disabilities to ensure it has sound organisational health. An attempt to be too prescriptive or to require 'correct' responses to a sub-set of identified questions within the Survey as necessary for sound organisational health would be simplistic and may skew results. Instead, the methodology acknowledges that a broad range of factors determines sound organisational health and considers this in a holistic way.

Ways we can help

Running your State Sporting Organisation

Access best practice guidelines, useful tips, suggestions, templates and checklists for NSW State Sporting Organisations who wish to improve their organisational health.

Running your SSO

Running your Club

Whether you have 10 members or 10,000, this section provides best practice guidelines, useful tips, suggestions, templates and checklists for anyone who wants to know more about how to run a club. Information is relevant for club directors, administrators and committee members.

Running your club


Each year the Office of Sport provides millions in government grants to nurture sporting talent, help build sports facilities and develop the industry as a whole.

Grants available

Her Sport Her Way

The Office of Sport’s Her Sport Her Way women in sport strategy aims to build a stronger sport sector where women and girls are valued, recognised and have equal choices and opportunities to lead and participate.

Featuring initiatives across four strategic pillars of participation, places and spaces, leveraging investment, and leadership - Her Sport Her Way seeks to increase women's and girl's participation as players, leaders and coaches, improve facilities, and attract more investment and recognition for women's sport.

Her Sport Her Way

Coaching and Officiating Programs

The Office of Sport runs several programs to support the delivery of coaching and officiating development.  These include:

  • Sport Australia General Principles of Coaching and Officiating Courses
  • Sport Australia Assessor and Presenter/Facilitator Courses
  • Sport Australia Mentor Training Courses
  • Independent assessment and auditing of Coaching or Officiating Courses
  • Networking opportunities for the managers Coaching and Officiating development within SSOs
  • Targeted workshops for coaches and officials.

What's on training calendar

Other Resources

You’re not alone! In addition to the support the Office of Sport can provide, there are other resources available to turn to for advice.

Other resources