Template Constitution for Clubs
All Tennis Clubs should have their own constitution setting out their members’ rights and liabilities and the rights and duties of the members of the committee, who are elected to run the organisation on a day-to-day basis. The constitution is a document establishing the organisation and setting out the purposes for which its members have come together, and all of the rules under which it proposes to operate. It must reflect the way in which the organisation works. No two organisations are the same in their aims or objectives but in any constitution there are certain matters which are common and which should always be included for the protection of members, including:
- Qualifications for membership and any membership fees that are payable;
- The manner in which a membership can be cancelled other than by resignation (for example, overdue membership subscriptions) and the circumstances in which a member can be expelled or suspended from the organisation;
- Any procedure for the disciplining of members and any mechanism for appeals by members in respect of disciplinary action taken against them;
- The mechanism for the resolution of disputes between members and between members and the organisation;
- The manner in which a general meeting can be called and the procedure at general meetings;
- The composition and functions of the committee;
- The management of the organisation’s funds
- The manner and circumstances for committee members to be indemnified out of the organisation’s funds, in the event that they incur any liability on behalf of the organisation.
- The manner of winding up the organization and the distribution of assets.
Many of these matters are also required by the NSW incorporated associations legislation. For Clubs that are incorporated associations, NSW Fair Trading has prepared a Model Constitution that covers all of the matters required by Schedule 1 of the Associations Incorporation Act 2009 (NSW) (Act). Here is a link to the Model Constitution.
In addition to the Model Constitution, Tennis NSW has developed a template for incorporated Member clubs to use as a guide and starting point when drafting and/or amending their constitutions, a link to which is here.
Please note that you should check the template carefully to ensure that it suits your Club’s particular purposes and that any changes comply with the Act. Further, for a matter as important as the constitution, we strongly recommend that you seek independent legal advice in respect of the template.