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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 Matters Meets: Robyn Cowen

This month, Club Matters caught up with Sports Commentator and Club Natters Podcast host Robyn Cowen to hear about her involvement in grassroot sports and how she achieved a blackbelt in Karate

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

I was involved in various sports from a young age, but I joined my first actual club when I was nine years old. It was called Wheatley Ryobu Kai Karate club.

What do you remember about the club?

The main thing I remember about the club was how family orientated it was. I started after my dad had been there for a couple of years. They always encouraged anyone watching, whether that be parents, siblings or friends to join in and train together. To me, that’s so important and makes the first step to what can be a little daunting much easier. The club was run by Sensei Roland Read who had been teaching Karate for well over thirty years. He was the best teacher I have ever met,  he fostered the perfect balance of discipline and fun and from that, I met people there who have become friends for life. 

How important was this grassroots introduction in developing your love for sport?

It’s incredibly important. For me personally, it shaped how I approach things in life and helped my concentration. The technical nature of some of the exercises we learnt helped when attempting other sports. I was very proud to represent the club.

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

I have so many fond memories of sport as a youngster, there’s too many to choose from! Rounders lessons at PE in primary school, playing football in the garden with my dad and sisters. I think my favourite memory though, was winning a karate competition in “Team Kata”. It’s a little like synchronised swimming as a group of three, you have to perform a series of moves together in unison. After months of practice our trio won gold in our category, it was all the more satisfying achieving it as a team. 

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

Sensei Roland Read who has run Wheatley Ryobu Kai Karate club for many years. He has developed hundreds of students from 6 to 60 years old, given up countless hours to run the sessions all the while doing most of the admin work. I know for a fact that he has had to spend his own money to keep it going. He’s helped me become the person I am today without him I wouldn’t be carving out my career in broadcasting. 

Do you / would you like to volunteer your time and giving back to sport?

I occasionally teach at the karate club but it’s very rare these days, I would love to give more back and volunteer in sport in the future because it has given so much to me. I know volunteers are told quite frequently just how valuable they are, but if there was any doubt it’s so true however seemingly small or large the job your time and commitment is paramount in passing on sport to the next generation, so they can feel as rewarded as I and millions of others do when they participate. 

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

Quite simply none of this is possible without those who get involved in grassroots sport - you make the difference! So, thank you!