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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.

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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.

Tips on inclusive communications

The number of disabled people playing sport regularly has risen significantly, but barriers still remain. Right now, disabled people are half as likely to be taking part in sport compare to other groups. This means there is still a long way to go to improve this imbalance and inclusive communications can play a vital role in ensuring sport is accessible to all.

The communications you send are a fundamental component your club. The way in which disabled people access your communications may be different to non-disabled people; and people with different impairments have different needs or experience different ‘barriers’ to accessing your information. Your communications should ideally be written, produced and distributed in a way that means they are inclusive to all. Check out our guide below to improve the inclusivity of your comms.

Embedding inclusive communications

The best way to embed inclusive communications across your organisation is to develop an inclusive communication policy that clearly sets out your commitment to inclusion. We have outlined some things to think about to get you started:

  • What type of comms do you already issue as a club and how frequently?
  • Who do you usually reach with your comms?
  • Who do you want to reach?
  • What channels do you use?
  • Do you provide your comms in a range of formats?
  • Do you use plain English?

Messaging & Wording

Using the wrong kind of language can itself create a barrier. Below are some quick do’s and don’ts when choosing terminology

DO USE

DO NOT USE

Disabled person

The disabled, handicapped, crippled

Person or non-disabled person

Able-bodied person, normal person

Person with a certain condition or impairment

Sufferer

Deaf people / hearing impaired

The deaf

Blind people / visually impaired

The blind

Brain injury

Brain damage

Accessible formats

Where possible your communications should be accessible and inclusive to all, but sometimes the type of communication means that it will not be accessible to certain groups. For example, a deaf person is not going to be able to listen to the voiceover on a video, so you can either ensure that the video is captioned from the beginning or provide a transcript of the voiceover, so anyone can read what has been said. Examples of accessible formats can be found below:

  • Accessible PDF documents
  • Accessible Word documents
  • Audio versions
  • Easy read and Makaton
  • Braille and Moon
  • British Sign Language
  • Hearing / Induction loops
  • Large print
  • Subtitling
  • Telephone
  • Textphone
  • Text to speech / speech to text

Using design to improve accessibility

This does not mean you need to pay a professional designer to improve the accessibility of your comms. In fact, there are a number of simple steps you can take yourself:

  • Text is ranged left or left aligned (most people in the UK read from left to right)
  • Choose clear and easy to read fonts such as Arial or Verdana
  • Larger fonts sizes make text easier to read
  • The use of simple graphs and pictorial diagrams can help people grasp key messages and understand the points being put across quickly
  • Any document or communication should be laid out clearly and simply in order to ensure the information is accessible
  • Use plain English, avoiding jargon and abbreviations where possible
  • Microsoft Office has a built-in accessibility checker (File – Check For Issues – Accessibility Checker)
  • Add alternative text to images in documents, online and on twitter – (Settings and Privacy – Accessibility – Compose Image Descriptions)
  • Plain English – Use Drivel Defence tool to check for long sentences and alternative words. (plainenglish.co.uk)

Hopefully this quick guide will help you get started on improving the accessibility and inclusivity of your communications. For a more comprehensive overview check out the Activity Alliance's Inclusive Communications Guide or if you prefer you can view it on YouTube