The sports and fitness industry, by its very nature, is vulnerable to a number of risks. This is especially where injuries are concerned. Because they are so prevalent wherever sports and fitness take place, these risks need to be carefully managed by those overseeing facilities, events and sporting activities.
While it is true that most industries the world over come with a certain degree of risk, those posed by the fitness industry generally surround the health and condition of people. And, wherever people and damages go hand-in-hand, so too does the risk of indemnity and of claims being made against your fitness business that could otherwise have been avoided.
So let’s speak a little about one of the most important things that sports managers are charged with – that of managing the risks in the fitness industry.
What is Risk Management?
In simple terms, risk management concerns itself with actions taken to reduce or (ideally) eliminate the potential for legal liability as a result of damages or injury. In each industry risk management wears a slightly different hat. In the case of the fitness industry, where people form the basis of business, the liability is all the more likely to smack you when you least expect it.
Risk management then is not handled in isolation but is rather taken into account through all aspects of the business or facility being managed. But why is it a concern for sports managers?
Why is Risk Management a Concern for Sports Managers?
There are a few reasons why risk management means something to sports and facility administrators. It isn’t all about keeping themselves covered.
Better risk management results in better recreational and sporting outcomes. It improves the safety of participants and, as a result, also the reputation of the business. In addition, it ensures that assets, events and activities are properly managed while also ensuring compliance with the law.
The primary goal for risk management is to reduce the likelihood of claims for damages being made against the facility or business.
What Types of Risks do Sports Managers Face?
There are a number of risks faced in the fitness industry. Not all of them are easy to spot until it is too late so it helps to be prepared.
Risks may come in the form of:
- Non-compliance with child protection legislation;
- Failing to adequately protect members;
- Not having participants sign a waiver or release form;
- Using equipment that is not safe or is not being used correctly.
All of the above situations can not only lead to serious injuries or worse. However, they will also put your business in an unpleasant legal and financial position if you haven’t got the correct risk management procedures in place.
The Results of Mismanaged Risks
Mismanaged risks, besides the obvious downside of injuries and unhappy clients, could utterly ruin your business in no time if you are not properly prepared. Things happen, whether they are within our control or not. But that is no excuse for not being ready when they do. This is basically the point of managing risks.
The legalities behind personal indemnity, and who is responsible when an unfortunate event occurs while under your supervision, can be both daunting and complicated. This is why the correct strategy needs to be in place to minimise the chances of these outcomes occurring.
Your reputation too could take a beating if injuries are commonplace in your business. This will cast a shadow over your future abilities to grow your business since you will have a hard time convincing potential members that they will be safe from harm in your facility or during your activities.
Risk management requires a carefully crafted set of skills to get right. It is also the kind of task that doesn’t really suit a trial-and-error style of learning since each error can be a costly affair.
To get a better understanding of all of the undertakings performed by sports managers, why not consider contacting Trifocus Fitness Academy to find out more about our in-depth, accredited courses for sports management certification.