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Sports clubs/groups and their members, volunteers and coaches are doing an amazing job at adapting to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19). To help, Club Matters has put together some extra guidance on the different ways clubs/groups can continue to communicate and stay in touch.
Good Communications are Vital to Supporting Engagement and Return
From recent insight, it is clear that communications from clubs/groups are really important to the experience of its participants/members and volunteers – especially in these challenging times. These communications can take a variety of forms, as explained below, and can support the viability of clubs/groups by:
- Keeping people up to date with changes/measures in place
- Managing anxiety levels.
- Keeping people connected.
- Encouraging people back when the time is right.
Characteristics of Good Communications
Key recommendations for optimising your club/group’s communications are included in the below diagram. Read on for more information on communicating and engaging as a virtual club/group below.
Insight also shows that communications need to be frequent and strike a balance between addressing the concerns of the club/group’s people in relation to Covid-19, maintaining an upbeat tone where appropriate and working to sustain people’s trust and engagement with the club/group.
Where this balance is not found, or communications are inconsistent, it may lead to participants/members and volunteers feeling confused, nervous, neglected, hesitant to return or worried. However, when the balance is found, it can help people to feel optimistic, satisfied, valued, grateful, excited, happy, trusted and expectant.
It’s really important to try and continue running your club/group wherever possible. This might mean holding virtual meetings, including AGMs, to make longer term decisions and plan for the future. This might include timescales for reopening and steps being taken to ensure a safe return when possible. Any information like this still needs to be shared with your membership, which is one way to continue engaging them. Accurate information will reassure them that the club/group is working hard to get through this period. However, be upfront and honest about any challenges you are facing during this time. Don’t feel like you can only talk to them about the club/group though – why not look for other interesting news / content from your sport or area to keep people informed!
Being active is a great way for people to support their mental and physical wellbeing. You may be able to draw on the expertise and experience of your coaches, volunteers, and the committee to share ways to carry on being active. Talk to your members about the importance of staying active at home and consider different ways you can help participants/members keep up their skills.
Bringing People Together
Sports clubs/groups provide a brilliant sense of community. If you can, why not capitalise on this by finding ways to bring people together from within their homes? If you can, encourage or even create opportunities for your members to engage with each other – not just to chat about your club/group or sport, but to catch up and take advantage of the social contact!