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.


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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

Club People

Understanding Your Members


If your club is looking to keep or attract more members and participants, you will need to understand their motivations.

Why do your members join? What makes them come back? What do they want from your club? This short videos will help you start to think about these questions.

The more you get to know and understand your current and potential members, the greater chance you have of providing them with a positive experience.

Everyone who plays sport, participates in physical activity, coaches or volunteers does so for different reasons. There is lots of research around why people take part in sport. Once you understand these motivations (and there can be several for one person) you can start to create a positive environment that people want to be part of.

Likewise, by identifying what might prevent them from participating in your sport or joining your club, you can start to address these barriers and make your club a more welcoming place that they want to be part of.

Explore the idea of motivations and barriers in more detail below:

General motivations 

The following are common motivations for you to consider:

  • Participate in competitive sport. The opportunity to train, be part of a team and compete is an important motivation for many joining a sports club. Although you can’t guarantee sporting success or trophies, there are a number of things you should aim to offer you participants to maximise their experience and keep them coming back. These include:
    • a full and active programme designed to help all your participants reach their potential and enjoy your sport
    • fully qualified and well trained coaches and volunteers to help participants develop and reach their potential
  • Socialising with friends. For others, the ability to socialise with friends at the club may be the main motivation. Introducing a 'Bring a Friend for Free' deal for sessions for example could help.
  • Making new friends. Regardless of age many people use sport and physical activity to make friends through a club atmosphere. Consider different types of social opportunities that you might put on throughout the year to provide for this need.
  • Keeping busy. You may find that people will join your club to keep active and keep busy. They may not participate in the sports activity but be on your committee or help out in another volunteering capacity. For more on volunteers click here .
  • Keeping fit. Often a common motivation people will be looking for opportunities to take part in physical activities that will improve their health and fitness. Think about opportunities to provide a version of your sport for fitness purposes rather than competition.
  • Enjoyment. A common motivation is simply the enjoyment of taking part, playing or being around a sports environment. It is therefore important that you make the activities you provide fun and enjoyable with a friendly atmosphere.


People’s motivations for taking part in sport can change over time. Sport England research shows that young people (14-25) take part in sport/activity for more functional or lifestyle reasons. For example to keep fit, look good or socialise. On the other hand, important motivators for the recently retired include fun, enjoyment of exercise and the social side.

If your club is looking to attract younger people find out more here and download the youth insight pack.

Women and girls

Women are less likely to participate in sport than men and their motivations for participating are often different. For more information about engaging with women visit our specific Women and your Sports Club page.

Market segmentation 

Sport England has carried out a great deal of research in this area and created a number of tools and insight packs. The Market Segmentation toolkit breaks down potential participants into nineteen segments and looks at the attitudes, motivations and barriers for each. This tool can help you identify:

  • What motivates people in different market segments
  • The specific sporting activities that work in your local area
  • Barriers preventing participation
  • Suggestions for how to get people involved and how to reach them
Now you’ve understood more about your members, it’s time to think about what you offer them.
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