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 Matters Meets: James Haskell

How old where you when you joined your first Rugby club and what was it called?

I was five years old, my mum may have lied about my age and signed me up for the under-7’s and it was called Maidenhead Rugby Club.

What do you remember about the club? (the atmosphere, culture, social aspects, how it was run, the people you met there?)

Well firstly, I think my mum thought it was the perfect crime! That she could get me out of the house to stop me causing trouble and my Dad could take me and my little brother down there and my Dad could have a beer on the weekend as licensing laws were a bit different back in the day! The club was incredible and very community-orientated, with loads of little kids running around just having fun not really sure what they were doing! You’d have a lot of characters going up to the bar afterwards and getting a pint of squash and buying a Chomp – they used to be 10p and now they’re about £1…having a hot dog and meeting people and making friends...just really being part of a community.

How important was this grassroots introduction to sport in your personal development and in becoming a professional athlete?

I think club Rugby was massively important when talking about my personal development. I’d played with the team since I was 5 until 18 and I still played for the club when I was at school, some weekend I’d play two games which was mad! I think I’d be in a wheelchair now if I had to do that! It’s also about meeting lots of characters and playing with different people…I always played my rugby at school and then having that as a secondary thing playing with different players helped you develop, seeing different things going on and travelling for away games and understanding what club Rugby was all about. I got into professional Rugby from the age of 16 really being involved with Wasps, but I still played for Maidenhead and still had that involvement that kept me grounded and showed me the traditional side of Rugby and for that I’m eternally grateful to them.

What is your fondest memory of sport when you were younger?

There’s a couple of memories really, my first was my first ever training session…I got passed the ball and wasn’t necessarily sure what I was doing…I ran around one bloke, side-steppd another one and ran around another and I scored! It was only when a parent looked down at me and called me a ‘silly boy’ that I realised I scored behind my own try line which was not ideal! I also think for me going back playing at school and playing in the Colts cup, we played London Irish one year and Bath another year and we beat London Irish which was massive for the club because they were professional and we were only amateur so that was a big occasion for us.

Is there a particular volunteer/club member from anywhere along your incredible journey that made a real impact in your life? Is there anything you would like to say to them?

There’s been a couple of guys who have been great mentors for me, but there’s one man in particular, who’s sadly passed away actually was a guy called Gordon McDonald who was at Maidenhead; he was my coach for a number of years and was always very complimentary and supportive and the other coaches who worked with him was super as well really. Out of all my club rugby years, from the ages of 15-18 were some of my most enjoyable where we had the best tournaments and trips with these guys.

Do you plan on volunteering your time and giving back to the sport that made you the man you are today?

I do already, I’ve done a few bits with Maidenhead Rugby club. I get asked quite a lot to do coaching and I try to do as much as I can as it’s obviously very important

Is there any message you’d like to give to the volunteers who help run thousands of sports clubs up and down the country?

I would say you’re all doing an incredible job, it’s really valued! Rugby is such a unique sport that helps people of any kind of age, culture, creed learn some valuable lessons, play a great game people enjoy. I think it’s important to keep a lot of the traditions, the touring and all the fun bits about rugby alive. I think they all do a great job and I would just like to say thank you.


James’ book Perfect Fit: The Winning Formula is available to buy from Waterstones and online from or

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