6 Webinars with Guides

6 Webinars with Guides

which can help grow your community sports club

Learn from best practice and ideas from community sports clubs across the UK and Scandinavia –

brought directly to your computer

SMN’s renowned Grow Your Club workshops have been attended by representatives from more than 4000 community sports club across England, Wales, Ireland, Denmark and Scotland.

Packed with inspiring case-stories and easy-to-use templates and tools readers will have access to best practice from across community sport on how to develop more vibrant, visible and viable clubs, attract more people to your clubs, generate more income and welcome more volunteers.

Webinar Modules and live Schedule

All this information is brought to you in a way which we are sure will help spur you into action

Each module includes a 30-minute webinar (online training seminar) and a 12-page guide which we will email to you. Even if you cannot attend the webinar we will send the video to you so you can view in your own time – supported by the guide. You are also invited to submit email questions to Svend Elkjaer, the presenter.

(Even if you do not regard yourself as a computer whizkid, it is really simple to join and participate in these webinars).
To attend individual webinars and receive each guide costs just £15.00 and when you book onto all six sessions you get one FREE and pay only £60.00.

If you cannot attend the webinar we will send the video to you so you can view in your own time – supported by the guide.

You are also invited to submit email questions to Svend Elkjaer, the presenter.

Each webinar will be held at 10.00 am on the first Saturday of the month commencing 3rd March

Cricket Scotland is launching #muchmorethancricket

Cricket Scotland is launching
an initiative to stimulate and encourage innovation and enterprise
across cricket:


It aims to accelerate and build on the considerable work which is already going towards developing new ways of engaging more people and broadening the appeal of cricket.

Malcolm Cannon, Chief Executive Officer of Cricket Scotland said:
“Since I joined Cricket Scotland, I have been impressed with the innovation and enterprise across the sport. People developing different formats, often shorter and more engaging – it is all very exciting, and Cricket Scotland has played its part in this.

“But I also think that we should do more to encourage new thinking within the sport at all levels, within Cricket Scotland, our clubs, our partners and among the wider game. Changes in people’s lifestyles, consumer habits and expectations and their use of digital media are creating challenges and opportunities. We have to be ready to overcome the first and exploit the latter.”

He added: “We are very keen to hear from anybody within and outside cricket with suggestions on how we can best support new ideas and initiatives to help grow cricket and its impact on society.”

Key areas for #muchmorethancricket include:

  • Encouraging clubs to develop better relationships within their communities leading to more players, customers, partners and local people becoming involved
  • Working with diverse groups across society to develop an even more inclusive and welcoming sport which is relevant to people’s lives
  • Helping clubs to broaden their appeal and for their clubs to become hubs for their communities
  • Developing relationships with community partners, from education, housing, youth and ethnic groups to engage new people
  • Working across the sport to promote better use of social and digital marketing tools for communication

Cricket Scotland would like to hear your ideas,

comments and thoughts

Please email innovation@cricketscotland.com
The best ideas identified from the engagement campaign will be presented at the Cricket Scotland Club Forum on
Saturday 24th March in Stirling.Ian Sandbrook, Director of Participation at Cricket Scotland is managing the #muchmorethancricket programme, supported by Svend Elkjaer of Sports Marketing Network.

Create some really great moments in 2018

Create some really great moments in 2018



“Most people will forget what you tell them, but they will never forget how you make them feel”

Most of us do the same things most of the time. Although we work hard, whether we are employed or volunteer, we tend to get into a routine. Which can be very boring, and we run the risk of becoming boring ourselves. That then shows in our approach to the people around us, who can tell that we are too busy organising next month’s rota or finishing that spreadsheet to show that we really care.

Think outside the box, break away from the daily routine and get inspired to develop and deliver great moments

Great moments can be created,and you can be the leader who inspires your colleagues to deliver those great moments, that is, if you want to?

Also, remember, what represents a ‘great moment’ will vary from person to person – whether you are trying to excite a fit, talented 19-year old with sporting ambitions or an overweight, 36-year old returner, what they perceive as being a great moment will vary considerably

The daily stress of running the club, trust or leisure centre often makes it difficult to find the time and space to create these moments for your colleagues, members or customers which make them feel special. Those moments they want to talk about, share with their social networks, which all will help raise your profile in the community.

Focus on the people you serve and make them feel special – celebrate their tiniest successes

Do something surprising

How many of our coaches and instructors consider whether they are creating great moments for people in their classes? Are they just going through the motions (pardon the pun!) of running their classes or do they demonstrate that they care about the people in front of them?
                                                                                                                                                       …Send people a birthday card

Give them a ‘well done’

This is so simple, doesn’t cost a penny and will set your place apart

Great moments create a great place. Great places grow.

Improving leadership in our community sports clubs

From committee to project groups, from paper-based to digitally-enabled, from volunteers to change-makers/club-growers, from diehards to hormones…

As well as many of our sports bodies are undergoing, in some cases considerable, changes in the way they run their organisations, an increasing number of our community sports clubs are working on developing a more efficient and contemporary structure and culture for running their clubs.

I think that the days of the 18-man (yes, man!) sports club committees are numbered. Just because someone ‘has always been a member of this club’ or ‘ was a really good athlete/player’ does not necessarily make that person the best person to manage the, say, the finances at that club.

So how do we develop a culture and structure at our community sports clubs which makes it exciting, inspiring and easier to be involved with the leadership and management of them?

Here are some of our suggestions:

1. Yes, you do need a Board to be in charge of the governance and the legal stuff. But you should probably not need more than five members of that board. And, encourage ‘outsiders’ to join (you don’t have to have been a good goalkeeper/bowler to the club Treasurer)
Minutes etc. should be circulated across the club and beyond at the least 48 hours after any meetings and when decisions are made. Transparency and engagement rules!

2. Then set up project groups which deal with specific issues. Some of these groups may focus on specific projects and will then be disbanded when the project has finished.
You may want to have each of the Committee members on these four more ‘permanent’ groups which should focus on
1. Run the club as an enterprise
2. More players/athletes at your club
3. Growing your community engagement
4. Facility development

3. Encourage your 15 -18-year olds to become ‘social media champions’ at your club

BK Skjold of Copenhagen engages more people through digital communication

This community football club has gone from near bankruptcy to now being one of the biggest community sports clubs in Denmark, with more than 1400 members

They were faced with declining engagement from members in the running of the club.

So, one month before this year’s AGM they started a digital communications campaign which ended all proposals and info on candidates/elections were sent to all members with a link to the vote.

Although these are early days they have already seen some real positive outcomes:
· 146 members voted – 10 times more than previously
· There were 10 candidates for four committee posts – never seen before
· The Treasurer role was filled with a qualified candidate for the first time
· 24 people attended the ‘off-line’ part of the AGM, twice as many as normal
· They received 15 points for discussion in connection with the digital voting.
They came from 9 members, with only one from a committee member

So, Jan Sørensen, the Chair of BK Skjold is pleased with this start of modernising the democratic process and is confident that this will be developed further in the coming years.

4. Ask yourself:

Why would a local ‘change-maker’ want to be engaged with growing your club?

5. Start a quiet revolution

6. From Club Committee of today to project group of the future

Club committee of today

FireBellies with heart

Gut feeling

Project group of the future

FireBellies with skills Strategy Change Competent Innovation Facts Tasks Values and frameworks

7. The Club Grower of the future

Specific skills
Something in it for them
Want other volunteers to be professional
Bite-size volunteering
One limited project
Want to feel they belong and are taken seriously
Want to have fun
Encourage them to speak their mind
Needs leadership and management

At SMN we have now developed a new workshop called Leadership and Management of Your Sports Club – Getting things done through people, and in January 2018 we will be launching its sister 48 page Guide. Packed with inspiring case-stories and easy-to-use templates and tools readers will have access to best practice from across community sport on how to develop the right leadership and management for their club.

Want to have a chat about taking sport out into your community, get in touch on
01423 326 660 or email svend@smnuk.com.

Leadership lessons

Over the ten years I have been working with clubs and other community sports providers I have to come to realise that leadership is the key factor in their successful development and growth, and dare I say it: survival.
At our Grow Your Club workshops I often hear people comment that all my thoughts, ideas and examples are great, but then it comes: “How do we actually get the leadership right to drive the club forward through people?”

In response we have now developed a workshop called Leadership and Management of Your Sports Club – Getting things done through people and in January 2018 we will be launching its sister 48 page Guide. Packed with inspiring case-stories and easy-to-use templates and tools readers will have access to best practice from across community sport on how to develop the right leadership and management for their club. Below are some brief tips and hints taken from the workshop and guide – I hope they are of use to you; remember they are based on experiences from the real world! Let me know what you think.

From committee to team – change your structure and culture: A committee decides, is boring, exists to set policy, will drain the life out of you and is for those who desire status. Whereas a team does, is exciting, exists to win, will add to your life and is for those who want to make a difference. The word team connotes vision, goals, purpose, unity and accomplishment. On the other hand, the word committee just sucks life right out of you!

Fuel the pioneering spirit – keep the momentum going by building regular events and WOW moments into the life of your club. Many times a club loses that pioneering spirit as it ages, becomes complacent and gets stuck in the rut that deters new ideas and pushes away new people. Build momentum, involve more people, dare to think new and see your club grow

Good leaders let people go. If you want to drive your club forward, on and off the pitch, you will no doubt experience people who simply cannot see any reason for any changes. They have been here for 29 years, so they know best. Those people can present serious barriers to your club’s health and that must come first. It seems harsh to suggest to ask a long-standing member to leave, but if they are holding your club back and deterring good, new people from getting involved…what are your options?

Visit other clubs and “steal” their stuff and don’t worry about being original – learn all you can about the principles from others, but then apply them in the context of your own setting and club

Be careful who you listen to. When you start making changes and showing leadership, you will be met with criticism from the stalwarts and ‘the way we do things around here’ brigade. Answering every criticism and explaining every questioned action will wear you out. Ask the people who want to drive the club forward, listen to them and act. Don’t waste time trying to placate the Victor Meldrews!

Get geeked about gadgets. Yes, I appreciate that technology is developing at an amazing rate but that should not stop you from benefiting from using it.
You simply ignore this at your peril. If you want to engage with people in a timely, inexpensive and relevant way embrace these tools, saving you hours stuffing envelopes. If you feel that all this is not for you, then ask and involve other people, perhaps younger members.

Innovate or “die”. Yes, I know trying new things is messy and requires dare – but without it your future is going to be bleak. So, try walking football for 60 year olds, doggie swimming in the lake, football golf, float-athons in the pool to generate income or crolf (a combination of golf and croquet). By the way, all these activities already exist!.


Involve both artists and administrators. We all like to be with people like ourselves – we feel safer and more comfortable that way. A club run just by administrators runs the risk of being boring and unwelcoming. If you only have artists in charge of your club, it may be very exciting but probably out of control! Get the artists and administrators to work together and respect each other and you are on to a winner.

Somebody has to live and die for your database. Having correct information about the people you are involved with through your club and then stay in contact with them is absolutely critical. If you, week in, week out ensure that people who you engage with are added to your database over time you will have an incredibly powerful tool to provide people with targeted information – at very little cost. But one person must be in charge and ‘own’ this.

Say thank you, send birthday cards and give people small cool gifts. I don’t really have to explain this, do I? So why do so few clubs actually do it?

Keep budgeting simple and get everybody involved. In all the clubs I have come across, budgeting rarely takes place and if it happens then it’s something that the treasurer does and then presents to other people. Wrong! Determine what you want to achieve with your club over the next one, three and five years. Have a thorough analysis and discussion of how you want to generate the income required. You must all be involved. The treasurer should not decide how to spend your money.



Tell stories. There’s nothing better to bring your point across than telling stories.
Internally, tell stories of how people have made a unique contribution to driving your club forward. Externally, tell stories of how your club makes a contribution to people’s lives and to your community.

Focus on cool projects.
When your club focuses on the right thing and does it well, it transforms lives.
Do it! Don’t get held back by always discussing minutiae.



Find reasons why people should get involved.
People need a reason to join, volunteer, sponsors, partner etc. Give them several that matter to them – not just focusing on you.

Have fun. Celebrate. Learn. Dare



Try and be the best at something.

Friendliest. Cleanest. Best neighbour. Most supportive. Most welcoming place for sport. Your choice





Create one strong vision for the whole club. Avoid cliques and ‘sub-clubs’ like the plaque




Put this word in your vocabulary: Newness. Clean. Paint. Repair. Tidy up. Replace

Want to have a chat about how can help you develop more innovation and enterprise, then get in touch on
01423 326 660 or email svend@smnuk.com

How female cricket participation is growing in Australia

How female cricket participation is growing 25% in Australia

Australia’s National Cricket Census, released last week, shows cricket is making significant headway in one of the most highly sought after modern markets — females.



Learnings from Australia

So SMN caught up with Sarah Styles, Head of Female Engagement at Cricket Australia who told us that last winter Cricket Australia launched a Growing Cricket for Girls Fund, with an initial investment of $1.5m. It saw associations and clubs create 363 new teams across 46 new all-girl competitions, demonstrating both the huge demand and the need for sport to create the right environment

With additional support from principal partner Commonwealth Bank, the total investment in Growing Cricket for Girls will be $6m (£3.6m) over four years – the single biggest investment by an Australian national sporting organisation into teenage girls sport.

Sarah added: “The activities in the schools is delivered through a combination of the State and Territory Field Force staff including Regional Cricket Managers / Market Development Officers and Teachers (especially School Ambassadors) with support from Participation Specialists focused on female and junior engagement.”

“Our approach with schools is to ensure that we provide a high quality and fun experience at all times. We have a variety of offers and solutions for all age levels that align both to the curriculum to assist Teachers and meet the needs of students as well. In respect to organised school competitions, State and Territories work closely with schools and their peak bodies to understand existing barriers to ascertain opportunities for establishing new competitions or growing existing ones. Initial barriers were worked through and short format solutions were found to be more suitable for the varying skill levels and time constraints.”

So what and who instigated this culture change?
“A whole of sport approach to growing the game for women and girls was critical, including strong endorsement from the various Boards and CEO’s at CA and State and Territory level.

Many people involved with female sport find it difficult to attract corporate sponsorship. How did you convince Commonwealth Bank to support this innovative project?

“Australian cricket has been in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank for over 30 years, and the two decided in the next phase of the partnership to focus on broadening diversity and inclusion in what is already a national game. The pair are working together to strengthen the foundations of cricket for women, Indigenous players, multicultural participants and players with disabilities through the A Sport for All program which supports local clubs around the country that are the lifeblood of the game and share innovation and inclusiveness in their respective fields. It’s all about ensuring cricket fans and players of all ages, genders, cultures and abilities have the chance to step up to the crease and get involved in Australia’s favourite summer pastime.”

However, the census revealed a need for more female-friendly pavilions, and the ambition is by build 500 by 2022, at a cost of $1 billion (£600m).

Cricket Australia’s recent facilities audit – the first complete survey by any sport of all its facilities around the country – found that just 20 per cent have changing rooms that are suitable for women and girls.

Strong interest in the female elite game

The second season of the Women’s Big Bash League saw more than 121,000 fans attend 28 matches (average gate 4000+) with an average of 239,000 tuning in to the 12 matches televised by Network Ten. 

Live streaming of all non-televised matches via cricket.com.au, Facebook and the Cricket Australia app saw more than 1.5 million viewers.
So, a combination of significant investment, a strong culture change and a massive increase in media coverage is helping female cricket to grow at level which would be the envy of any other sport.

On the other side of the globe almost half of Danish female teenage footballers feel ignored

Almost half of Danish female teenage footballers feel ignored

Research by DBU, the Danish Football Association shows that female teenage footballers find it difficult to combine their interest in playing football with their education and 40% of them feel that their club prioritise boys over girls.

There are 63.000 female members of Danish football clubs (Danish population 5.1m) and the Danish women reached the finals of the recent Euros (1.5m Danes watched the final on telly), so the interest and quality are there.

The research also highlights that the girls out as much emphasis on the coach’s ability to create a good atmosphere, as his/her football skills and 40% of the girls would like to have more social events at the club.