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Get help to find what you need

Club Matters offers support and guidance to clubs in a wide range of topics.

To help find what you need, select the option below which best describes your current situation.

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Get started

If your club is new or in the process of being set-up, we recommend exploring our Start a Club section.

This section is split into the following topics:

  • Things to think about before starting your club
  • The rules and structure your new club will adopt
  • The facilities and funding you will need in place
  • Raising awareness of your club
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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Keep it up

If your club wants to maintain what it has, or check you’re doing the best you can, we recommend exploring our main topic areas in more detail.

Sign-up to workshops which cover key topic areas such as business planning, marketing, club structures, finances and tax.

Register for free for full access to our resources

Click on these boxes to access toolkits, online modules and interactive content. Have a look around to see which areas your club could benefit from.

For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Get back on track

My club is struggling on one or more areas and is looking for specific guidance.

We need help growing or maintaining our membership levels We need to manage our finances better We are looking for guidance on applying for funding We need more volunteers to help run our club We are unsure what good governance really means or how we can improve We don’t know if our club’s legal structure is right for us We need support with our facilities or lack of facilities We want to better understand our members and what they want from the club

Top Tips

1. Think about the best way to market your club to reach potential new members

2. Make sure your club is welcoming and inclusive to appeal to new members

3. Make your club experience extraordinary, so that your current members want to stay

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Marketing Inclusivity Members and Participants

Top Tips

1. Get into a routine of checking your club’s financial position and keeping records

2. Plan for the future and develop a budget, to help you keep costs on track

3. Get your income from a variety of sources, to stay sustainable

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Managing Money Budgeting Generating Income

Top Tips

1. Create a clear club development plan to show funders that you have realistic goals

2. Research the best funding for your club

3. Don’t forget the other ways to raise funds for your club, including fundraising, forming partnerships and gaining sponsorship

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club Development Plan Funding Guidance Generating Income

Top Tips

1. Look beyond your current volunteer base - don’t just rely on those who already have a link to the club

2. Convey the wider benefits of volunteering, such as improving a CV or boosting self-confidence

3. Improve the experience of your current volunteers to reduce the risk of them leaving

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Finding Volunteers Developing Volunteers Keeping Volunteers

Top Tips

1. Governance is all about having the right people, policies, procedures and structure in place at your club

2. Protect your club’s reputation by creating, communicating and following a robust set of policies

3. Have an effective committee with clear roles and responsibilities, skills and experiences

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Governance Policies and Procedures Effective Committees

Top Tips

1. Explore all the options available and consider seeking legal advice

2. Incorporating your club creates a separate legal entity and protects your committee and members from entering into contracts in their own name

3. Adopting charitable status or becoming a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) can provide benefits such as tax relief for your club

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club structures Incorporated Charitable Status CASC

Top Tips

1. Carry out risk assessments for the facilities you use

2. Hiring or leasing facilities is often the simplest solution if you only need to access them for a few hours each week

3. If you own your facilities, make sure you are clued up on business rates and energy saving measures to keep costs down

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Club Facilities Risk Assessment Managing Costs

Top Tips

1. The way people participate in sport is changing, you need to make sure your club is flexible and can adapt to modern lifestyles and demands

2. Seek feedback from your members

3. Every club can improve, keep trying to make your club’s experience even better by creating and following an action plan

Links

Check out the following pages for specific guidance:

Understanding Your Members Understanding Your Offer Delivering a Great Experience Being Consistently Brilliant

Raise the bar

If your club is keen to develop and you want to improve your current offer, we recommend using our Club Improvement Tool.

The tool prompts you to think about how your club is performing now and where you would like it to be in the future. Based on your responses, the tool directs you to specific resources to help you reach your goals.

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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Clubmark

Clubmark is Sport England’s universally acknowledged, cross-sport accreditation scheme.

If your club wants to achieve Clubmark accreditation or you want to find out more, we recommend exploring our Clubmark section.

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For further information on the support available across Club Matters, visit our Get Started with Club Matters section.

Club Matters Meets: Ian Bell

This month, Club Matters sat down with one of the most successful English cricketers of his generation, Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell, who played 118 Tests and 161 One Day Internationals for England. The five-time Ashes winner told us about his early days in cricket, the enthusiasm of his coaches, and how he’s enjoying giving back to the game coaching youngsters as he approaches the back end of his career.

Club Matters: How old were you when you joined your first cricket club and what was it called?

Ian Bell: I can’t remember exactly how old I was but the first club I went to was when my dad was playing at the weekend, at Dunchurch cricket club, which is just up the road. My brother and I would play cricket on the side so that was my earliest memory of cricket. I first properly got involved with a club side was when I was about 9 years old, I remember going to Coventry & North Warwickshire which was the nearest Birmingham League side, which was the best league near where we were, and had a fantastic new set up at the time. So that was my first introduction to youth cricket - my brother and I went all the way through the age groups there.

What do you remember most about the club?

I was very lucky. At the time we had a very strong side from under 11’s, and we all moved through together up to the 14’s, 15’s and 19’s. But we were very lucky, it was a Birmingham League club and that was the top premier league in the area, so from top to bottom – men’s cricket all the way down to the juniors – it was a good set up. There were always Warwickshire affiliated players at the club as well, so you could go down and watch the first team. We were lucky to have some good coaches and people who spent a lot of time making sure the junior set up was right. My brother and I benefitted from that quite nicely, and also the fact that the youth teams had a close attachment to Warwickshire as well. So, going to trials, then under 11’s and 12’s came off the back of the coaching and the things I did with Coventry & North Warwickshire.

Tell us about the coaches at Coventry & North Warwickshire?

There’s a couple of guys that are still there now actually. A guy called Dave Robinson, who I remember used to organise a lot of the youth cricket, is still there now. I think during that period, and certainly with that generation, we had quite a strong age group and a good side all the way through, so I’ve got a lot of fond memories of how I started in grassroots cricket and going through which hopefully, in a way, played a massive part in where I got to with my career.

How important do you think it is to have people like Dave to give up their time and help bring through young athletes?

It’s hugely important. I look back on my career and there’s a number of people who I’d thank for this. When I got my first test cap, you get the excitement of achieving your goal and your dream, but you remember the sacrifices that people made in terms of getting you around the country to games, driving you around. You need a lot of support – not just from the coaches but from everyone, including your family. I look back on my cricket life, and I was very lucky to have some good people who gave up their time to benefit myself and my friends so that we could go on and enjoy the game, as the enthusiasm they have for the game rubs off on the young guys that they’re coaching. That was an important aspect of it -  as well as all the skills, just the pure enjoyment of playing cricket.

How important is it that coaches love the game? Does that help make young people enthusiastic about sport?

Exactly, that’s what a lot of it is when getting into the professional route. When you look right back to the start, you want as many kids playing cricket and having fun, enjoying it. I met a lot of good people through cricket and that was not just about how good you are but it’s a game that should be enjoyed. You go out there as a team and there’s a lot of things that you learn through cricket that you can add in to parts of your life as well.

What are your favourite memories of playing when you were younger?

At under 11 level, we got to play on the main ground, often in the morning before a big Premier League game. I suppose my best memories were the opportunities we got to bat and bowl and do as much as you could. I can still envisage how we used to play, with 16 over games batting for 4 overs in a pair and bowling a couple of overs. I can remember right back to how it was at the start and how well it was organised. Everyone had their part to play in the game and it was really enjoyable. I suppose there’s two parts to it; I was lucky to grow up in the area that I did. Warwickshire were a very successful county at the time and we had the likes of Allan Donald and Brian Lara there as overseas players, so to go and watch them, at my age, captured my imagination. Warwickshire did the treble in 1994 and the double in 95, so that kind of stuff, alongside having a good environment to play in, are the reasons to why I love the game and why I wanted to go on and play cricket for a living.

Is volunteering your time and coaching kids something that you really enjoy doing?

I’ve actually just become an ambassador for a coaching company called “Complete Cricket” in Solihull. So, I’m doing a lot of work with those guys and it’s really refreshing and enjoyable to actually start doing a bit more of that with kids with all different abilities and seeing how much fun it was when you were a kid. Sometimes, when you are in the professional game and it’s your job you kind of lose sight of why you play the game in the first place. Having now gone back into doing some work with these guys and doing some coaching sessions with kids from all different age groups and abilities, you see that they are there because they love the game and love playing cricket. So, it’s all been very refreshing for me to see and start doing a bit more of this, now I’m at the back end of my career, and hopefully I’ll continue working with these guys in the years to come. Hopefully along the way, there’ll be some kids that will come through that set up and will go on to play for Warwickshire and England like I did.

Do you have any message that you’d like to give to the volunteers who help all the sports clubs up and down the country?

I reckon every professional player right to the top would thank them, right up to Joe Root as England captain. I don’t think you could get there without people giving their time and helping young guys and girls. Being a parent now as well, you’re limited to the amount of time you have, so you need volunteers and everyone helping. I suppose it’s the love of the game – if you can get young guys and girls playing early in their lives, that’s where you really start to love the game. A coach also has a massive part to play, being enthusiastic and pushing their messages across. Hopefully youth cricket continues and keeps going strong. From my own experience, I was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time with some really good people which, no doubt, helped capture my imagination of why I wanted to play the game and why I loved the game of cricket.