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Are you ‘just sport’ or are you #MoreThanSport?

That distinction determines your Scope, Partners, Income and Impact –
in other words: Grow your SPI²

Sadly, we still come across (too) many sports bodies, clubs and coaches who only see the world through the lens of ‘sport’, ‘winning’ and ‘performance’.  They think that the whole world should support and play the real, traditional versions of their sport that they have been practising and training for ages.

They only see their players as ‘sports’ people and have little interest in the rest of their lives. The notion that sport should play a wider role in our communities and in people’s lives is an anathema to them.  And yet they are the first to call for more funding and support for their sport and they are convinced that if only the BBC showed their sport day in and day out everybody would be really excited and rush down to their clubs.  Forgetting that the environment they provide to newcomers is often rather unwelcoming, especially to the less talented and able.

The good news is that we are experiencing an increasing number of bodies and clubs and other providers of sport who are benefetting considerably from adapting a broader outlook and deliver more than sport.

So, how they do that? 
What is the process like?

Firstly, broaden you must broaden your scope and get everybody behind that you are a place for everybody. 
Yes, you will have people within your board who don’t like change. 
But as the quote below states

Many traditional sports bodies and their clubs are suffering and are often closing down because they are too narrow in their scope. In our experience, you need a mix of new people with fresh ideas and enthusiasm, combined with some of the excisting group, especially those who support change.  (Note, based on many case-studies: Get rid of the naysayers. You will never be able to change them!)

You can now become a hub for your community and become relevant to more people, both players, parents and siblings.

 

Of course, the process of broadening your scope can be difficult and hard work, but we have seen it happen at many places and we have had the pleasure of working with a number of bodies and clubs helping them on the way.
 
You can now start looking at who you can partner with.  When you are ‘just sport’ you are not really relevant to many external partners, but with your new scope you can gradually develop relations with an increasing number of non-sportsc partners around you, as you can see on the Your Club diagram:

A couple of examples from the real world

Llandrindod Wells FC link up with Tesco through their community engagement
 
Llandrindod Wells FC are based in this town in Mid Wales with a population of 5,309. 
The football club are one of the clubs involved with the FAW Trust’s More than a club support and mentoring programme. 

Over the last six months, they have organised a Dog Walk, a walk to the top of local Pen-y-Fan mountain  (881 metres) and a great day out at the club for 200 young carers. 

Through all that good work they got in contact with Jayne Griffiths, Community Champion at the local Tesco Extra (every one of the 253 Tesco Extras in the UK employ a Community Champion).The two are now collaborating with all sorts of events, include a Diabetes Awareness Day and collection of sports equipment for Africa and Jayne is now helping the club with organising the Club Awards.

Jayne presented at the recent More than a club conference for the FAW Trust’s where she encouraged all the clubs to play a wider role in their community.

As Jayne said: “I  didn’t know anything about football but it’s all about being together, out there and making a difference. Football clubs need to be a part of their community.”

Cricket Scotland link up with a university, Pakistani community, Glasgow City Councillors and cricket for visually impaired people
 
Over the last few years, Cricket Scotland has evolved into one of our most innovative and engaging sports governing bodies.
An outcome of that change was the establishment of a partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University (strapline: “University for Common Good”) and Lord Taverner’s to employ Arran Ashraf as Community Engagement Officer in Glasgow.

Part of his role is to help transform some of Glasgow’s most marginalised communities and bring cricket to black and minority ethnic, migrant and refugee communities in Glasgow and build social cohesion and support integration. 

Part of his role is to help transform some of Glasgow’s most marginalised communities and bring cricket to black and minority ethnic, migrant and refugee communities in Glasgow and build social cohesion and support integration. 
 
Ammar has already set up a Tapeball cricket league and festival and organised a visually impaired cricket match played between a team of Glasgow City Councillors and people with sight loss.
The specially arranged indoor match pitched eight city councillors – wearing blindfolds or ‘sim-specs’ that simulate different sight loss conditions – against a team of members, volunteers and staff from sight loss charity RNIB Scotland. Visually impaired cricket, in fact, is played internationally and there is an International Blind Cricket Team.
It is also worth noting that Cricket Scotland receives awards from the International Cricket Council for their development work and innovation, on a regular basis.

By being vibrant, visible and viable Valley Gymnastics Academy has over seven years grown from 100 to 3,000 members and they now turn over £800,000. Only 100 members are competitive gymnasts, the rest are there for the fun and the exercise. 

By taking these steps you now, almost automatically, grow your impact on your community and on people’s lives.

It really is that simple. But, you have to be willing and able to take those first steps

 

You can learn more about the #MoreThanSport Academy click here

If you want to learn more about to become more inclusive and diverse and engage with inactive people, do get in touch

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