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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 Management

Club Facilities

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For many clubs being able to participate in their chosen sport depends on having the right facilities and equipment in place.

Therefore, there are some key areas to think about, below;

Kit and Equipment

The kit and equipment needed for training and/or playing will vary hugely dependent upon your sport. If you are starting out then remember some sports set minimum requirements for kit and equipment, usually for health and safety reasons. e.g. mouth guards in boxing, shin pads in football or head gear in youth rugby. Make sure that you take advice from your national governing body. The Start a club - Kit and Equipment Top Tips guide will help.

Facilities - Starting out

If your club is new, or you are looking at facilities for the first time, before you sign up to a facility think what is essential or desirable to have in a facility for your club. The Start a Club - Facilities Top Tips guide will help.

Facilities - Regular use

Depending on your requirements, if your club uses facilities regularly then it is likely that you will hire or lease facilities. If you just need a facility for a few hours each week then hiring a venue will be appropriate. Many facilities may have appropriate space and equipment for your club. Don’t just limit yourself to leisure centres; think wider. For example, can schools, community centres, others sports clubs or private leisure operators offer you a space to play? If you need facilities more regularly then leasing facilities may be more suitable. Sports clubs often lease premises or facilities from local authorities, commercial businesses or other organisations on a range of terms. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions clearly before you sign up.

Remember, if you are looking for funding for leased facilities in many instances you will need to demonstrate you have the right to use the facilities over a long period of time, typically 25 years.

Facilities - Owning your own

Many clubs dream of owning and running their own facilities - whether this be a club house, activity centre, sports ground or similar. Often this is can be the most expensive solution as you will probably need to secure substantial funding in order to develop your own facilities. If you are considering building new facilities or updating existing facilities check out Sport England's resources on Facilities and Planning.

For guidance on designing and costing facilities including information on accessible facilities, case studies and example costs access Sport England's Design and Cost Guidance.

If you already own facilities there are further resources to will help you to manage these more effectively.

The Sustainable Clubs website will give you ideas on how to reduce facility running costs.

The Effective Facilities Management online module will help to keep facilities fit, functional and affordable to run. The module focuses on not only helping clubs reduce the costs of running their facilities but outlines common legal and regulatory areas clubs with facilities need to comply with. With lots of practical hints and tips the module will help you to better manage your Clubs facilities now and in the future.

Facilities - Asset transfer

Asset transfer involves the transfer of the ownership of land or buildings from government organisations such as local authorities to community groups like local sports clubs and trusts, often at a vastly discounted price if there is a benefit to the local community.

For further information see the Asset Transfer toolkit, Sport England’s step by step guide through the asset transfer process for community clubs or the Community Assets Guidance available on Club Matters.

Regardless of what type of facilities your club uses, you should always make sure you have the appropriate Health and Safety,  and Risk Assessment policies and practices in place.

You should also consider if your facilities are accessible to those with a disability. Visit our Disability page for more information on this topic.