Participation in sport depends heavily on having the right facilities and equipment in place. Whether you’re just starting out or have been running your club for several years, Club Matters is here to help with some advice on running your own facilities, or finding somewhere new.
Looking for somewhere new? You’ve come to the right place. When looking for a new facility, think about what is essential or desirable to have for your club. Try to be as flexible as possible while thinking about the following:
- What facilities are required- Indoor/outdoor, markings, equipment, and size of space
- How often you will want to hire and availability
Plenty of venues may have appropriate space and equipment for your club. Don’t just limit yourself to leisure centres; think wider. For example, can schools, community centres, other sports clubs or private leisure operators offer you a space to play? Get an idea of the cost of the facility and any discounts that are offered for concessionary groups. Many local councils can offer a VAT reduction on block bookings of 10 weeks or more; speak to your leisure centre to see if this applies. Once you are all set, ensure you develop a good relationship with the venue manager/operator.
Looking to run your own facilities? Make sure you take a look at the ‘Effective Facilities Management’ online module designed to help keep facilities functional and affordable to run. Sport England also have various resources available to help you out. If you are considering building new facilities or updating existing facilities, check out Sport England's resources on Facilities and Planning. For guidance on designing and costing facilities including information on accessible facilities, case studies and example costs, access Sport England's Design and Cost Guidance. If you already own facilities there are further resources to help you manage these more effectively, such as the Sustainable Clubs website which gives you ideas on how to reduce facility running costs.
Regardless of what type of facilities your club uses, you should always make sure you have the appropriate Health and Safety and Risk Assessment policies and practices in place. You should also consider if your facilities are accessible to those with a disability; check out last month’s blog for some tips on improving your club’s accessibility.