by Kevin Lawrie. Two years ago, in July 2009, I started my first contract with the Sport Law & Strategy Group. We were working for a coalition of team sport NSOs to develop a position paper explaining the unique value of team sports. The majority of the project was led by Rachel Corbett and Dina Bell-Laroche. My component of the project was to enhance the paper with a literature review of academic research supporting the position. The final paper was used to build the case for more federal funding for team sports – and the result was a $6.0 million annual budget allocation specifically directed to team sports.
It was immensely rewarding to contribute to benefiting the sport community in such a positive fashion.
My own experiences over the past two years reflect just a small cross-section of the work that the Sport Law & Strategy Group can do for sport organizations:
- I have researched and written a report about the nature of sport schools in Canada
- I have prepared an independent evaluation of a multi-sport national body
- I have reviewed and compiled academic literature on the topics of values and ethical stewardship
- I have led the development and analysis of membership surveys
- I have created legal education training manuals for coaches
- I have presented at conferences on the topics of communication and social media
In just two years, I have been part of 49 different projects and helped nearly 30 sport organizations. But that is just my activity – as a recent addition to the team. The actual value of the Sport Law & Strategy Group is the experience, knowledge, leadership, and charisma of the entire group – Rachel Corbett, Hilary Findlay, Steve Indig, Dina Bell-Laroche, and LeeAnn Cupidio. In the past two years we have, all six of us together, worked on over 500 projects for nearly 125 different sports organizations. These projects have ranged from small contract creation to year-long strategic change consultations.
Part of my enjoyment working with the Sport Law & Strategy Group has been understanding the truly wide range of services that we can provide to the sport community. I continue to be impressed by members of our group and what problems we solve, strategies we manage, and legal messes we untangle.
Currently, a new Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (NPCA) is forthcoming and all national sport organizations will need to change their governance structures and constitutions in order to comply with the new law. The Sport Law & Strategy Group is already prepared to help! We have written extensively on the subject (June 2011, April 2011, December 2010, June 2010) and we will be ready to assist you when the time comes to comply with the Act. This is a great example of the unparalleled level of knowledge and preparation that organizations have come to expect from the Sport Law & Strategy Group.
It has been rewarding and refreshing to work with dedicated, committed volunteers and staff members who are truly concerned about the welfare of their sport, their membership, and their participants. I look forward to continuing to help sport organizations achieve their visions.