After tough year, floorball association back on track
Debt repaid in full, Revolutionise software implemented to aid NSA's management and governance
The Singapore Floorball Association (SFA) was dragged through the mud when a failure to submit audited accounts saw government funding halted earlier this year.
The national sports association (NSA) was then rocked when former president Sani Mohamed Salim was investigated by police for alleged misappropriation of funds.
The situation was exacerbated by the revelation of a 23,000 Swiss Franc debt owed to the International Floorball Federation (IFF).
The beleaguered association took the first steps to recovery by holding an Extraordinary General Meeting (EOGM) to elect new leadership in May and the SFA has now graduated from those baby steps to a steady jog.
The IFF said at a meeting on Sept 4 that the SFA has "been able to pay the whole outstanding IFF debt in August" and, hence, has been struck off its observation list.
The SFA is moving forward quickly, with the implementation of Revolutionise Sport, a cloud-based sports management platform that allows the NSA to take control of its finances, while also managing competitions and members.
"(Implementing the Revolutionise Sports system) is not directly linked to what happened, but it is linked, yes," said SFA interim president Kenneth Ho, who is in the hot seat until the NSA holds an Annual General Meeting, which can only take place after the accounts are put in order.
"We wanted to implement best practices… And we want to professionalise our league competition going forward, so we can regain the trust of the fraternity. The competition is the foundation of our sport and we want to make sure it is run professionally."
Revolutionise Sport, which is used by the likes of Diving Australia and Rowing Australia, can do both, while taking the SFA into the digital age.
The system is linked to the SFA website, with league competition information, team and member registration, as well as financial transactions made possible.
"There is a financial module that when teams register, it'll link to a payment site that will send an invoice directly to them. It can also accumulate financial records of unpaid monies and even send a reminder to those teams," said Ho, who holds a full-time job in the insurance sector and has been in the SFA management committee since 2011, overseeing coaching development as well as competition matters.
"Everything was linked back to paper documents before but, with this, it is automated, records stored digitally and it's also linked to our bank account."
Helping Ho set the SFA house in order is Todd Vladich.
A former Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) general manager, Vladich's appointment as SFA general manger is for six months and is aimed at resolving ongoing issues, and implementing administrative and financial systems and processes.
Ho had said earlier that the SFA hopes to retain the position of general manager after Vladich's stint ends, and is also preparing to gain charity status so that they can resume receiving funding.
Sport Singapore (SportSG) required all NSAs to register as charities by January 2011 before being conferred Institution of Public Character (IPC) status. Only NSAs that meet these requirements are eligible for SportSG funding.
Revolutionise Sport will help the SFA keep financial governance rules, but the programme can also revolutionise the way the association interacts with members and even sponsors.
"It will help us create a database of our members, with records like length of membership, the membership demographic, even how many goals a person has scored in the league tournament," said Ho, referring to the system's customisable matrix.
"Several sports in Singapore do all this manually, using an excel spreadsheet, but this way it is a lot easier for the back-end user as well as our members, because this software is linked to our website.
"With the data we collect, we can go to schools and sponsors, and say look, this is the number of members we've got, this is the demographic breakdown, and yes, it matches your target market.
"We're still putting things together (in the system), but we are moving forward."
The SFA's financial woes have hurt the national men's team's fund-raising efforts as they look to compete in the 11th Men's World Floorball Championship in Latvia.
The target was to raise $80,000 for the Dec 3 to 11 tournament, but news of the SFA's problems has driven potential sponsors away.
Ho revealed that moves are being made to help the team fly the Republic's flag at the sport's biggest event.
"We are working closely with the national team with small fundraising efforts and seeing how we can work together to help the situation," he said.
"Floorball is turning the corner."
REVOLUTIONISE SPORT FEATURES USED BY SFA (SELECTED)
- Able to accept online payments securely
- Automatic invoicing to members
- Tracking of expenses
- Linked to bank account and online payment modes like Pay Pal
- Generation of fixtures that can be downloaded into members' personal calendars
- Define custom competition metrics like goal scorers, assists and red cards
- Tracking of metrics for each individual member
- Live results entered by tablet or smart phone
- Dynamic updating of league tables
- One login for members to manage all their details
- Online registration
- Collection of demographic information
- Tracking of historical member data