Starting a new club

Are you interested in forming a new Athletics Club?

Great! The first step is to complete the New Member Application form (word document) and email this to Stuart or another member of the team will be in touch with you shortly after we receive your application to discuss your interest in starting a new club.

Many factors are considered in this first step, including the Club’s purpose, objectives and the need or demand for an athletics club in your area. We will also contact your associated Centre to discuss your application.

 Considerations Moving Forward


1. Establish a Management Committee

The committee is the operational arm of the club and manages the club correspondence and finances. They are also responsible for overseeing the strategic planning for the clubs future.

There is no one set structure that will work for a club. However, a management committee must be established to make decisions about important issues and take action on specific tasks. At a minimum your Management Committee should consist of a President (Chairperson), a Secretary, a Treasurer and Committee Members.

Your club could also have a number of different sub-committees who are each responsible for specific areas such as finance, events, volunteers, promotions, etc.

It is important that new or prospective office bearers are fully aware of their roles so every club should have job descriptions that are used when recruiting volunteers.

  • Committee Job Descriptions
  • How to run a Meeting

2. Create a Constitution

Whether your club is an incorporated society or not, you will need to have a constitution in place which outlines how your club is run. This details the rules and guidelines on how the club will be run and should be reviewed annually. Athletics NZ reviews all new club constitution to check alignment with the national bodies’ constitution. We recommend using the Athletics New Zealand template and sourcing legal advice where needed.

  • New Member Club Application Form
  • Download

3. Apply to become an Incorporated Society

Athletics NZ requires all Member Clubs to be incorporated societies because:

  • An incorporated society has limited liability – this mean members of the Club are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the Club (unless such debts or obligations are entered into to obtain profit, or as a result of negligence)
  • An Incorporated society can enter into contracts and deal with property in its own name.
  • An incorporated society can sue and be sued in its own name.
  • An incorporated society can continue to exist even as its membership changes.
  • An incorporated society cannot operate for the personal benefit of individuals – it must be a not-for-profit body.

If a club is not an incorporated society:

  • The office bearers and members of the club can be held personally liable for the debts or obligations of the club
  • The club cannot own property or enter into contracts – instead the club’s members or office bearers must do this in their own personal names.
  • There can be problems with obtaining grants or other funding.

The Incorporated Societies website contains useful information about establishing and running an incorporated society.