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Start a club

Rules and Structure

New sports clubs require rules and structure. Below are some points to think about:

Affiliating to your National Governing Body (NGB)?

Across England, there are many different National Governing Bodies (NGBs) who have responsibility for managing their specific sport. Many Clubs decide to affiliate to their NGB because of the benefits and opportunities they provide, which incudes being able to enter official competitions, insurance, access to funding and access to support and guidance on coaching and running your club. If you are not sure who your sport’s governing body is, or where to find them, click here.

Do you have a set of rules for your new club?

Your club will need a set of rules or club constitution. This is a simple document that outlines the club functions and the rules under which it will operate. Having a constitution should help to clarify how club procedures work. Your sport's governing body may have an example constitution for your sport.

Have you considered the health, safety and welfare of your members and volunteers?

Your members and volunteers’ safety and welfare should be a priority for your new club. Think about the following:

  • Do you have the appropriate insurance (public liability insurance/any required for your sport)
  • Are your club's activities led by suitably qualified people
  • Do activity leaders have appropriate first aid training and access to appropriate equipment?
  • A Health & Safety policy should be the foundation on which to develop health and safety procedures and practices for your club.
  • Undertaking risk assessments will help keep your activities safe
  • It is vital that you have the right safeguarding & welfare measures in place

Have you thought about how your club is structured?

With your committee and constitution in place, unless you do anything further, your club will what is known as an unincorporated association. This is fine for most small clubs, but as you grow, look for external funding or take on liabilities (e.g. facilities, contracts or staff) you may want to change how your club is legally structured.
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