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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

Women and your Club

club-people-header

When asked, approximately 13 million women in England say they would like to participate in more sport and physical activity.

However, despite women and girls’ interest and desire to get more involved in sport, at the moment 1.8 million more males over the age of 16 participate at least once a week in sport than females.

Woman hexagon2

So, what’s stopping these women from taking part? What can your club do to attract more female participants and make sure they keep coming back?

In order to attract and retain female participants at your club, it’s important to recognise that women often experience different motivations and barriers to men when it comes to taking part in sport. Being able to understand these differences and making small, practical changes to your club’s offer and approach can have a big impact in welcoming women and girls.

Explore these three areas in more detail below:

Motivations

Each woman is unique and will have her own reasons for wanting to join in. But generally speaking, Women in Sport’s Research, "Understanding Women's Lives" has identified six broad values that women prioritise and look for in all aspects of life:

  • Looking good
  • Feeling good
  • Having fun
  • Developing skills
  • Nurturing friends and family
  • Achieving goals

If your club is able to meet these values through your training sessions, social events and/or volunteering opportunities, you are more likely to encourage women to join and continue being part of your club.

For more information about these motivations and how your club can meet these, log-in to access our Creating a Welcoming Club for Women and Girls interactive guide.

Barriers

As well as having different motivations, each woman will have her own story to tell if there’s something stopping her from taking part in sport. Barriers can be broken down into:

  • Practical barriers which might prevent a woman coming to your club, for example:
    - Timing or frequency of sessions
    - Logistics such as location, transport, childcare options
    - Cost
    - Lack of information about the club or training times
  • Personal barriers which might prevent a woman coming to your club, for example:
    - Lack of confidence in ability
    - Worries about appearance when working out
    - Social confidence joining a new group and not fitting in
    - Fear of being judged

It’s possible to overcome many of these barriers by making simple changes to your communications, training sessions and making sure your club’s culture is welcoming and inclusive for newcomers and longstanding members alike. Find out more with our Creating a Welcoming Club for Women and Girls interactive guide.

A good way to start understanding which barriers might be affecting your club, is to survey your current members. Ask them what they enjoy about the club and what they think could be improved. Visit our Understanding Your Members section for more information about why and how you can do this.

Practical tips

There are many simple changes you can make throughout a woman’s journey from newcomer to becoming a committed club member. Below we have a few suggestions, but you will find more in our Creating a Welcoming Club for Women and Girls interactive guide.

I’m thinking about trying a session...

  • For many new joiners the prospect of turning up at a training session can be very intimidating. One of the main fears for new participants is that they won’t be of a good enough standard. If your club is open to all abilities, make sure this is clearly communicated in your marketing materials, website or social media platforms.
  • Follow the Attracting Attention Guide from Sport England for specific tips on tailoring your communication to women.

I’ve turned up for my first session, I’m nervous but also excited…

  • Making sure you meet and greet newcomers as they try out the club for the first time is vital in reassuring them and giving the club a warm and welcoming impression.
  • Running a regular female-specific session can be a great way to relieve the worry that a woman may be judged on her appearance or ability. However this might not always be possible, or what your members want. So you could instead try adapting the format of your session so that it’s a mix of warm-up games (for fun), coaching (to improve skills) and breaks (for the chance to socialise). This means you have more of a chance of meeting the different values women may have.
  • For more tips on how to make sure your training sessions are inclusive and supportive of women, check out Sport England’s guide to Running your Sessions.

I’ve just finished my first session. I enjoyed it but I don’t know if I’ll go back…

  • Follow up with any newcomers to congratulate them on their first session. A quick text message or e-mail to inform them of the next session and to say that you’re looking forward to seeing them there could make a massive difference for someone who is still apprehensive about committing to the club.
  • Inviting your new female members to join an online forum, Whatsapp group or pairing them up with a more experienced club member is a great way to keep them engaged with the club after the session has ended, hopefully encouraging them to come back again.
  • For more top tips on keeping women engaged, see Sport England’s Keep Them Coming Back Guide.