Sport is undoubtedly something that plays a part in the lives of a large percentage of the population, whether that is as a fan, spectator, player or coach. With a renewed focus on health and well-being, there are sporting clubs starting to spring up all over the UK. Sports such as football, rugby, golf and tennis have a long tradition of organised participation. However, over the last few years sports such as running and cycling, once considered individual pursuits, have become ever more popular leading to the formation of organised clubs.
Starting a sports club can come with a number of challenges, so we’ve put together a list of things that will help you make it a successful venture.
Finding Suitable Facilities
One of the starting points for any aspiring sports club is to find suitable facilities. With changing rooms being at a premium and the cost of building one from scratch often prohibitive, this is often a problem many encounter. One option is to invest in a modular building, much less expensive than a brick construction, modular buildings are also transportable so, can actually be taken down and moved if you decide to relocate. More and more clubs are taking advantage of the flexibility offered by modular buildings when looking to provide changing facilities and a socialising space for members.
With the number of sports clubs around in the UK attracting members can sometimes be difficult. So, its an idea to try and establish links in the community and give your club an identity that makes it stand out from other organisations. Things like forming a link with a local pub will usually give you an immediate following. It will also help you with a local base and ensure you become established in the local community.
Rather than using a scattergun approach, it is sometimes helpful to target potential members. This means you can plan what steps to take when undertaking recruitment. It will also allow you to tailor things like special events and competitions to your membership. This has been proved to foster a greater sense of commitment and feeling of ownership from members.
Have a Code of Conduct in Place
Sporting clubs by their very nature are competitive environments, in fact for many that is part of the attraction. Healthy competition should never be discouraged as it forms an essential part of most sports, however occasionally that can get out of hand. Things like bullying, discrimination and prejudice have no place in sport, so it is advisable to put a code of conduct in place to ensure it never becomes an issue. Having a code of conduct in place will also demonstrate to potential members that your club is a responsible and caring place.
Commitment to Excellence
The primary responsibility of any sporting organisation, whether professional, semi- professional or amateur, is the health and well being of its membership. So, always try and make a commitment to being as good as you can be in every way. This will ensure your club reaches its full potential both on and off the field.
Apply For Grants
Some councils will offer incentives or grants for non-profit sports clubs that can help you to get your club started. This money could be used to improve the interiors, implement safety aids if required and help purchase any equipment that may be necessary for your sport. That could be tennis paddles for your table-tennis club; balls, bibs and goal posts for your ball-based sports; or boxing gloves and focus mitts for your boxing or Muay Thai club.
The six things listed above are just pointers on things you can do to ensure your new club gets off to a solid start and then goes from strength to strength.