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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 People

Inclusivity and Disability

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Did you know that 1 in 5 people in England have an impairment or health condition? This equates to 9.4 million disabled people. 

What's more, these groups are largely under-represented in the sports sector, with many wanting to do more sport.

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disabled sport

Why is it important to make your club inclusive to disabled people?

Sport is something which can, and should, be enjoyed by everyone - regardless of race, gender, age, sexual-orientation or disability.

Many clubs are looking for ways to increase membership and participation. As a fifth of the English population is disabled or has a health condition, by not being welcoming and inclusive to these people, you are effectively ruling out a large group who could bring their skills, talents, energy and enthusiasm to your club.

Being inclusive may not necessarily mean running fully inclusive sessions for all members to attend - it may be tailoring some sessions or introducing bespoke sessions. You can include disabled people in many different ways. 

What stops disabled people from taking part in sport?

There are many barriers which prevent disabled people from participating in sport. These can be broken down into three main types: psychological, physical and logistical barriers. Each of these is explored in more detail below:

Psychological Barriers

In basic terms, psychological barriers are the views and opinions of disabled and non-disabled people which stop disabled people joining in with sport or physical activities. Out of the three barrier types, psychological barriers are recognised as playing the biggest role in preventing disabled people from taking part in sport.

Disabled people may suffer from personal perceptions which make them feel that they either can't or don't want to take part in sport. This may be because they've had a bad experience in the past and are hesitant to take the risk of playing sport again. If your club is welcoming, supportive and you offer a positive experience when they first visit, this can help break down this barrier.

The perceptions of others also play a role in creating psychological barriers. For example, if you are unable to advise a disabled person when they are enquiring about the club about the opportunities available, they will instantly feel unwelcome or uncatered for, even if this isn't the case.

Physical Barriers

A lack of suitable facilities and equipment can prevent disabled people from participating in sport. This can be a challenge for clubs, as equipment may be expensive or viewed as being in low demand. That said, if you look at it from a different perspective, it might be the case that you'll be able to attract more participants if you have the right equipment in place.

It's also important to remember that the Equality Act 2010 requires sports clubs to make reasonable adjustments to services so everyone has access. This is a legal requirement. This does not just mean being wheelchair friendly - different disabilities or impairments may require other changes or adaptations.

Having accessible facilities and adaptations in place at your club will help overcome the physical barriers disabled people may experience. For more information on this, have a look at the EFDS Access for All Facilities Guide.

Logistical Barriers

Logistical barriers include the geographical location of a sport, the expense involved, the ability to involve carers or supporters, the communication of opportunities and whether activities are suitable or not.  For practical ways to overcome these barriers, use EFDS's Talk to Me Guide.
For in-depth support with making your club more inclusive for disabled people, visit the Inclusion Club Hub from EDFS (English Federation of Disability Sport).