The Northern Suburbs Football Association (NSFA) is the organising body for football clubs in the area between North Sydney and Brooklyn. In 2008 there were 36 registered clubs in NSFA comprising about 16,000 players.
St Ives Football Club is part of NSFA and plays competing teams from the Upper North Shore in the NSFA League. St Ives is one of the largest clubs in the NSFA and in 2014 we had 900 players ranging from the under 6 age group through to over 45s with an additional group specifically for children with intellectual disabilities. The St Ives Football Club was formed in 1957 and has been in continuous operation since then. It has grown to be one of the largest soccer clubs on Sydney's North Shore, with an army of mums and dads and volunteers helping out behind the scenes.
Our philosophy at St Ives Football Club is to teach boys and girls to compete to the best of their ability and to enjoy the sport of soccer.
Our club house is at our home ground on Warrimoo Oval, St Ives Chase. There are changing sheds, BBQ facilities and a children's playground at the back of the oval. Warrimoo is where many of our senior games take place, but we also have "home" grounds at Barra Buri Oval and Toolang Oval.
The question is sometimes asked, what makes you different from other clubs. It is a fair question, all clubs in NSFA play against each other in the same competition so what do we do differently to others?
1. Firstly we are part of the St Ives community. Like most other clubs in NSFA we cover a geographical area, we serve St Ives for football.
2. Whilst some clubs focus on victories, for us, this geographic focus has translated into a community focus. We have built and continue to build relationships with other organisations within St Ives working with schools, Council and even church groups to enrich the community.
3. The community focus led us to identify a need for the intellectually, we introduced the first program sanctioned by the FFA that provided an outdoor team activity for these children. In 2006 similar programs were run in 4 locations and by 2008 there was 10 districts around Sydney offering.
4. Transparency is important to the club. Unlike many similar organisations, we provide our constitution, our accounts and even our procedures on our web site for anyone to view.
5. Team spirit, we seek to enrich the experience of the players and are brave enough to measure player retention as a measure of our success.
6. Management, we plan for the future. Despite being a volunteer organisation, we consider planning and management of critical importance. Our management plan (written at the end of 2004) shows our objectives. Whilst this is probably seen as irrelevant to many, it shows our priorities and a tool to measure our success.
7. It is fun, if a club measures itself by its team’s achievements, the priority becomes success. If a club measures itself by player numbers, the priority becomes recruitment. If a club measures itself by player retention, it is about players enjoying themselves and wanting to return.