Newcastle Vikings HC introduces handball to local cricket club and Tesco Extra

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Newcastle Vikings HC introduces handball to local cricket club and demonstrate the sport to customers at Tesco Extra (and now they are introducing Walking Handball)

Handball in England is growing, but still relatively unknown here, so for the sport and the clubs to raise the profile and grow they have to develop partnerships and be innovative.

Newcastle Vikings HC is a dynamic club which is one of the clubs supported by Svend Elkjaer of SMN as part of England Handball’s club support programme.

They have just run two enterprising initiatives, one with cricket and one with Tesco Extra

All Stars Cricket is a programme run by the ECB to provide boys and girls from 5-8 years old with 8 weeks of non-stop fun. The activity and game based programme is suitable for all skill levels, providing the children with the foundations to begin a lifelong love of physical activity and cricket while making friends in a safe and enjoyable.

As throving a ball is part of both cricket and handball the great people at Newcastle Vikings decided to showcase their sport to local All Star participants.

Svend knows Russell Perry, Chair of Northumberlanmd Cricket Board and who is also involved local, dynamic cricket club, Corbridge CC.

They met and it was agreed that the Vikings could take part in some of the All Star Cricket sessions at Corbridge, introducing the almost 100 5-8 year olds to handball.

The sessions were a great success and here is a post from Corbridge CC’s Facebook page:

“…we had another fun filled night of All Stars. Thanks to the coaches from Newcastle Vikings Handball Club who brought their sport to Corbridge as the fielding station. The throwing, catching, jumping and running mirrored the work we all do in the field and provided much needed extra helpers. The Handball club are based in Benfield School and are keen to hear from local clubs running All Stars in their area.!

Almost 100 5-8 year olds traying handball in Northumberland

“It was really great linking up with the cricket community in the North East” said Marlen Slinning Goulty, Chairperson at Newcastle Vikings HC, “and we are really pleased that It has already been agreed that Nortumberland Cricket Board will support a wider role out of the collaboration in 2020”

On a sunny Saturday the Vikings demonstrated handball to the large number of Tesco Extra customers as part of the Kingston Park store’s Diabetes Awareness Day. 

Tesco customers of all ages enjoyed Try Handball which is a version of the sport which uses smaller, softer balls and which can be enjoyed by beginners.

The Vikings have just received funding to set up a Walking Handball programme, aimed at the slighter older age group around Newcastle.

 

Walking handball is already popular in the Netherlands

So, for any of our smaller, less know sports. Go out there, Be innovative. 

Talk to people across your community.

Be bold.

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

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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

#MoreThanSport Academy Introductory Workshop Series

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A series of workshops introducing the core values of the #MoreThanSport Academy and providing practical examples of how to create positive environments that lead to positive experiences. Application is key, so all of our workshops are jargon free and packed with case studies and simple tools to help you put learning into practice.

House of Sport, 190 Great Dover St, London SE1 4YB

 

Are you engaging new audiences?

 

Welcoming environments for sport & physical activity

 

Friday 18th October 2019

9.30 am – 12.30 pm

 

 

Do you want to grow your great idea?

 

How to run your own sports enterprise

 

Friday 15th November 2019

9.30 am – 12.30 pm

 

 

Are you looking to achieve a wider purpose?

Partnering with the local community to achieve social outcomes

 

Friday 6th December 2019

9.30 am – 12.30 pm

 

Asset transfers – a great way of developing community assets

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Asset transfers – a great way of developing community assets, or a convenient way for local authorities to get rid of ramshackle facilities, or both?

Asset transfers of community buildings and sports facilities have taken place across the UK for a few years now. In many cases, they have gone well and a bunber of community groups and sports clubs now run their own facilities and can grow their impact in the community.

An example is Jesmond Swimming Pool in Newcastle which was one of the first sports facilities to be transferred to community ownership in 1992. Since then it has been an innovative award winning social enterprise.

Freed from the constraints of the bureaucracy of the local authority the management has developed an innovative and enterprising culture which is the envy of most other pool operators.

Jesmond Pool – a successful Community Asset Transfer

Community Asset Transfer (CAT) is the transfer of management and/or ownership of public land and buildings from its owner, usually, a local authority, to a community organisation, such as a social enterprise or sports club/trust, for less than market value – to achieve a local social, economic or environmental benefits.

In times of cuts to local authority funding, most Councils have had to either close down loss-making community facilities and sports centres and pitches or undertake a CAT, often to one, or several, of the tenants/users of the facility. So the tenant becomes a landlord, with all what the entails of challenges and opportunities.

So, in principle, this should all be good stuff – all part of The Third Way or The Big Society, depending on your political persuasion.

Community Asset Transfer (CAT) is the transfer of management and/or ownership of public land and buildings from its owner, usually, a local authority, to a community organisation, such as a social enterprise or sports club/trust, for less than market value – to achieve a local social, economic or environmental benefits.

In times of cuts to local authority funding, most Councils have had to either close down loss-making community facilities and sports centres and pitches or undertake a CAT, often to one, or several, of the tenants/users of the facility. So the tenant becomes a landlord, with all what the entails of challenges and opportunities.

So, in principle, this should all be good stuff – all part of The Third Way or The Big Society, depending on your political persuasion.

However, it has to be said that during our with community sports providers we have come across too many examples where we have experienced asset transfers being botched. This is partly due to incompence and less than fair and decent behaviour from local authorities and real lack of understanding of the challenges at many community sports clubs.

However, it has to be said that during our with community sports providers we have come across too many examples where we have experienced asset transfers being botched. This is partly due to incompence and less than fair and decent behaviour from local authorities and real lack of understanding of the challenges at many community sports clubs.

There are indeed a number of guides to CATs, including a brilliant one produced by the Scottish FA  but we do wonder how many parties involved with asset transfers actually bother do reads these guides. Our straw poll certainly confirms that neither the Estate Manager at the Council or whoever else is involved with the asset transfer rarely do more than 2-3 asset transfers in their careers nor do the Secretary/Chair at the club do more than one asset transfer. So, it’s very much the blind leading the blind.

We have just seen a case where the Council did not issue the guide and criteria for evaluating the asset transfer bid until after the deadline. The people in charge at the Council were either on sick leave or on holiday so it was impossible to get any response for the bidders.

In the end, the asset has now been promised to a consortium of clubs which includes a club which has gone bust twice and is no longer affiliated to the appropriate governing body. When the relevant Director at the Council was queried about the soundness of the decision hand over the asset to a twice-bankrupt organisation the answer was that ”we should look forward, not backward’.

At the same time, we come across too many club committees who have not a real grasp of the business and enterprise aspects of running the facility, but just want to ensure that they still have a home, or so they think.

I was with one community sports club which was about to take other the two muddy pitches and an almost derelict club house. The only person on the community who had seen the budget was the Treasurer who had produced the budget, so the club’s management was blissfully unaware of what they were taking on. Also, the club was not incorporated as a Community Interest Company or Charity or something else, so the committee members would all be personally liable for any debts incurred.

Until we got involved no one had pointed that out to the committee members.

So, unfortunately, many Councils are handing over facilities to clubs and groups which may not always have the necessary enterprise culture and skills which can lead to very unfortunate situations.

Are you ready? Is your club ready for asset transfer?

Whilst community asset transfer is a process in its own right, much of the work preparing for CAT is about capacity building your organisation in readiness. This means:

  • Making sure you have the right people and skills leading and governing the organisation
  • Having the right structure (type of organisation) and protection (legal structure)
  • Understanding and managing the risks that come with running a group and managing a building
  • Being able to show how a building will help (and not hinder) your organisation in achieving the positive changes for people which your organisation exists to help.
  • Having enough money and having robust plans for continuing to have enough money to run your group, its activities and a building
  • Having a written, useful plan of all of the above

Are you sure? Have you:

  • Gathered evidence to show how the community and local people will benefit from the transfer?
  • Gathered evidence of community support for the transfer?
  • Checked that you understand Manchester City Council’s Asset Transfer Strategy and if there have been other Community Asset
  • Transfers nearby from which you can learn?
  • Checked that land and buildings in question really are assets and not liabilities – for example, they are liabilities if they cannot generate enough income to fund repairs, maintenance and ongoing operational costs?
  • Considered whether asset transfer is the right option and the best option for your organisation?

So how can Councils improve the way they handle their assets transfers?

  • Learn from others – failures and successes Be honest about own motives, culture and skills
  • Get your plan and timeline sorted from the outset
  • Make sure the community clubs/groups do possess the appropriate enterprise culture and skills – if they don’t, signpost them to appropriate advice

If you would like to have a chat about Community Asset Transfer, just get in touch. 

Sport for Change and Social Good – a different approach, not a separate sector

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Sport for Change and Social Good – a different approach, not a separate sector

A massive opportunity for community sport and physical activity to reach new groups and grow your impact.
Across the UK we are experiencing an increased focus on the wider role that sport and physical activity can play in our communities and our lives. In some quarters that approach is called for sport for social good, some call it sport for change and others call it sport for development. In the end, it is all about the wider benefits that sport and physical activity can bring to individual and communities.
Until now there has almost been a separate sector covering this work and in England, the Sport for Development Coalition and in Scotland the Sport for Change Network has been the ‘home’ of providers and funders sport for change/social good.
In particular, many of our governing bodies of sport and our community sports clubs have taken a sport for sport’s sake approach, believing that sport is living in splendid isolation from the rest of society. Increasingly, they are waking to the fact that if their sport and clubs are to prosper in a more connected world they will have to play a bigger role in people’s lives.
So, we are gradually getting away from two separate sectors, which is great and we are experiencing bodies such as Cricket Scotland and their #MoreThanCricket conference and the Football Association of Wales Trust and their #MoreThanAClub programme. Through our work here we have come across a number of community clubs which are growing because their engagement with people around goes way beyond just the sport, so both parties benefit.
How you then develop the Sport for Change and Social Good approach is something we cover at three one-day workshops which take place in Stirling on the 21st November, London (Ealing) on the 28th and Birmingham 30th November. For the full programme and booking details click here).

At these workshops, we will cover how to benefit from and how to implement a Sport for Change and Social Good approach. We will provide you with thoughts, tools and to-dos on how to develop and deliver initiatives which can make a real difference. We will also cover how to

  • build a team of committed, passionate and inspirational staff (and volunteers)
  • acquire an understanding of community and individual needs
  • develop the ability to work jointly with others
  • grow consistency and sustainability of the approach
  • develop a clear strategy and action plan for accessing funding
  • link with key priority areas such as community cohesion, playing a role in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, helping to improve education and employability, and health and wellbeing and other
  • build a sustainable organisation – building capacity, working with staff and volunteers, finances
  • develop the right an organisational structure – to ensure that quality of delivery is high and aligned to the desired outcomes
  • build evidence – how to align with outcomes and report against these effectively, providing guidance and tools for different settings, how to measure outcomes and not just outputs

All this will be provided in an engaging and interactive way, using jargon-free language and case-studies from                    sports and community organisations of                             ll shapes and sizes.

Who should attend this workshop:

This workshop is aimed at people who are involved with sports and physical activity organisations interested in developing sport for change and social good initiatives such as governing bodies of sports, Community Sports Hubs, Country Sports Partnerships, community sports trusts, sports clubs, leisure trusts, funding bodes, school sports partnerships and activators

People who are involved with community organisations interested in using sport and physical to engage with people and communities such as housing associations, Police, social enterprises, health and patient organisations, Local Authorities, voluntary organisations, funding bodies, NHS and Public Health

We look forward to hearing from you and to help develop a Sport for Change and Social Good approach

We must support our Community Sports Change Makers

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We must support our Community Sports Change Makers – or we will lose them

Helping them to overcome resistance to change at clubs, regions and governing bodies

 

Over the years I have been running the Sports Marketing Network, I have had the great pleasure and privilege to meet some incredible Community Sports Entrepreneurs or Community Sports Change Makers. People who come across a challenge that they simply have to address or an opportunity that they simply want to exploit.

Very rarely, do they do this for financial gain, often they lose money, certainly in the beginning but they want to make an impact in their community. They may start a stand-alone social enterprise working desperately hard to ensure that they are financially sustainable while they are doing good in the communities or they may be involved with an existing club that they want to drive forward.

All good stuff I hear you say, but sadly in far too many cases are these people being ignored and discouraged and rarely are they being supported by ‘the system’.

They tend to focus on getting on with the job, are rarely on the radar of the people ‘up there’, their solutions are mostly based on solving needs and not following strategies and they tend to be ‘doers’ and not ‘politicians.

When indeed they break through they can make a real difference, such as Simply Cycling in Wythenshawe Park, where Sue Blaylock completely off her back set up this all ability cycling social enterprise http://www.simply-cycling.org. And at Lymm Rugby Club where Simon Plumb is behind their annual Panto which brings in £30.000 every year which enabled the club to buy the field next door for some more pitches http://www.adultpanto.com/. (In neither case has the respective governing body had any involvement, which is a bit of a shame).

No, those people do not really fit in, but, they are making a difference in their communities.
Compare that to three cases I personally have come across the last few weeks where three Change Makers, who have volunteered within traditional sports clubs and who all three had made a real difference within those clubs (they thought) now have thrown in the towel and left their clubs. They simply could not fight the naysayers and diehards at the clubs and those clubs will much the poorer for it.

So, who will now drive these clubs forward and make sure they are relevant in the 21st century?

At the same time, most clubs tell us that they can’t get volunteers, but obviously they only want volunteers who don’t want to change anything!

So, unless we change tack we will keep losing great people who one way or the other can make a real difference in community sport. These people can not be replaced by some top-down strategies or funding streams that go to the same bodies delivering the same projects, in the same way, achieving the same outcomes…

5 Sport for Change and Social Good Workshops:

Workshops will run from 9.30 am – 4.00 pm

21st November 2018
University of Stirling
Stirling

22nd November 2018
Sheffield Institute of Sport
Sheffield

27th November 2018
University of South Wales, Treforest Campus
Cardiff

28th November 2018
Trailfinders Sports Club, Ealing
London

30th November 2018
Deal Cultural Centre, Ladywood
Birmingham

So, here are some initiatives and ideas which we here at SMN feel could help our Community Sports Change Makers; it would be great to hear your feedback:

1. Every fund set up to fund community sport and physical activity projects should allocate 10% to ‘weird and wacky’ projects. Just allocate small ‘seed; amounts and if/when the project is looking good then you can provide further financial and mentoring support. And encourage video applications – not many 17-year-olds can be bothered to complete the standard 37-page application form

2. SMN will collect and disseminate examples of best practice from community sports enterprises, support providers at all stages of their development, bring enterprises from different parts of the UK together so they can learn and share, run workshops and produce guides on non-sport specific issues facing community sports providers and generally provide support on their enterprise aspects.

3. SNm will help train potential sports entrepreneurs on how to develop and run successful and sustainable providers for the benefit of their customers and communities. We will also help educate sports/enterprise/community professionals on the various aspects of community sports enterprise, so they are better equipped to understand and support budding sports entrepreneurs.

4. Community Sports Enterprise needs champions and SNN will highlight the great work done by so many people within the sector and ensure that they will act as role models and beacons.

5. We will set up a free, confidential, remote mentoring service where Community Sports Change Makers can contact us (on a fair-use basis) and get help, a shoulder to cry on and ideas on how to move forward in the best way.

It would be great to hear from you.