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 Management



Sports clubs generally operate more successfully when they work together with other parties.


There are a number of different organisations who can assist your club to:

  • Get a new club started
  • Help to recruit new members or volunteers
  • Help your club to develop
  • Provide support around funding
  • Provide support and guidance around club governance
Organisations you could partner with include:

Affiliation to your National Governing Body

Many clubs decide to affiliate to the relevant National Governing Body (NGB) because of the benefits and opportunities they provide. Affiliation normally has an associated cost, but if you have longer term aspirations to develop and possibly compete, it is almost certainly worth considering.


  • You can enter official competition run by the sport
  • Insurance; for players, coaches etc.
  • Access to qualified referees, umpires and/or officials for matches and competitions
  • Guidance about best practice in club operation and management for that sport
  • Safer recruitment of volunteers (e.g. management of concerns, child protection issues, training and development opportunities)
  • The opportunity to access certain funding sources
  • Access to coach and volunteer training

Working with your County Sports Partnership

There are 45 county sports partnerships (CSPs) covering England. They work across the sporting landscape, actively supporting clubs and partners to help increase participation in sport and physical activities.

CSP will often have club development officers that can support your club or provide guidance or who locally can help.  The benefits from working closely with your local CSP include:

  • Local support for club development
  • Advice about local funding opportunities
  • Access to their network of local partners
  • Share and access news and event updates

For more information on your local CSP click here.

Working with schools

Helping young people take the step into community sport is vital to get more people participating.  Clubs can bridge the gaps between school, college or university sport; it is a great way to get more young people into your club.

Sport England’s Satellite Clubs programme is a great way to forge links with local schools.

Your local CSP may also be able to provide support and guidance about working with schools, colleges and universities in your area.

For a younger audience, Change4Life Sports Clubs have been created to increase physical activity levels in less active seven- to nine-year-olds, through multi-sport themes.  Explore whether your club can get involved.

The benefits from working with schools, colleges and universities include:

  • More young people in the club
  • Increased participation in the club
  • Opportunity to identify future talent
  • Potential access to school facilities and equipment
  • Raised profile within sport and the community
  • Improved financial opportunities
  • Pool of young leaders, coaches and officials of the future

Working with health organisations

There are opportunities for sports clubs to engage with Clinical Commissioning Groups within local communities across England to form partnerships, in particular around linking in with the exercise and wellbeing agenda and the ‘Longer Lives’ project.You could run some beginner or age specific classes to offer a route (back) into physical activity for some individuals specifically referred by their GP.


  • Increased health benefits for participants
  • Increased participation within your club
  • Opportunity to identify new members for the committee, bringing new skills
  • Raised profile within the local community
  • Improved financial opportunities from having more members and extra classes

Working with businesses

Most sports clubs will at some stage or another work with businesses in their local area. Typically this may be as a customer or through some type of sponsorship.

Whilst sponsorship is a great way to build local connections and generate income or other benefits, there are other ways you could work with local businesses.  These include:

  • Providing your expertise (coaching and running activities / events) to local business, perhaps as part of a fitness initiative or team building exercises
  • Allowing business or other organisations to use your facilities outside of your training / playing times
  • Providing local businesses access to your members through promotions (although you may need to consider how you use any member data and data protection)

You’ll find that many business owners are also avid sports fans and are very keen to be associated with their local sports clubs.  The benefits to your club include:

  • Increased income for your club
  • Raised profile within the local community
  • Opportunity to identify new members for the committee, bringing new skills
  • Opportunity to offer more corporate events at your facilities
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