Grow Sport workshops – The UK’s most innovative and engaging series of workshops on how to develop and deliver more enterprising and welcoming community sport and physical activity


 SMN deliver a wide range of workshops for both volunteers and professionals involved with community sport and physical activity and below you will find a selection of the topics we cover.

All our keynotes and workshops are delivered personally by Svend Elkjaer, the Founder and Director of the Sports Marketing Network


Grow Your Club – the UK’s most popular series of enterprise workshops for community sport

Engaging workshops for volunteers and professionals within community sport


SMN deliver a wide range of workshops for both volunteers and professionals involved with community sport and physical activity and below you will find a We deliver bespoke workshops and keynote presentations, developed in consultation with our client/hosts, so if you have a specific request please get in touch.

We are certain we can help to develop and deliver exactly what you are looking for…whether you are looking for a 20-minute keynote or series of Grow Your Club workshops

Over the years SMN have worked with a wide range of organisations including local authorities, universities, colleges, community sports clubs, governing bodies of sport, community sports, trusts leisure trusts, informal sports providers, community sports enterprises, community groups and other community sports providers and professional associations.

We have run Grow Your Club workshops for more than 4000 community sports clubs across the UK and Denmark.

Grow Your Club: A complete package for you and your clubs

Increasingly, we deliver a comprehensive club inspiration support package for governing bodies of sport, local authorities and sports councils.

Introductory 3-hour workshop(s)

The club representatives are introduced to the concept of making their clubs more vibrant, visible and viable and to the programme.

Application process for clubs to join the programme

Clubs complete a simple questionnaire where the main focus is on their culture and willingness and capacity for change.  The clubs that are demonstrating the strongest desire to move forward are then selected to participate in a one-to-one mentoring and support programme.

Bespoke club consultations

We then visit each club for 2-3 hours and using our bespoke tools we help the clubs areas where they can best utilise their current and future resources, be it volunteer development, member recruitment and retention, income generation or raising the profile.

Remote mentoring

Having agreed specific action points with each club we then follow up and stay in touch using email, ‘phone or Skype.

Possible webinars

In some cases we run specific webinars and in some cases the clubs participate in our regular, open webinar

Why not host your own workshop?

If you are local authority, governing body, sports council or any other sports organisation you should how you can use SMN to help your partners and deliverers to become welcoming, innovative and enterprising. You will notice the workshops in our Grow Your Club and Activity Grower programmes, but we are more than happy to deliver a bespoke workshop suited to your needs.

Our workshops are fun and interactive and packed with inspiring case-studies backed up with templates and action points, so the participants can use the information there and then!

Grow Your Club – How to become more vibrant, visible and viable

This introductory workshop will cover how clubs can develop the enterprise culture and skills required and how to get the vision right and a clear vision of what their club is for. It will help clubs become vibrant through the activities and events they create, visible through their communication with members, supporters, sponsors and the community at large thus creating a viable club.

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It all starts with helping participants to understand how absolutely vital it is to develop a welcoming culture towards new people, ideas and partners. It will then focus on how clubs can become business-savvy and build and maintain positive relationships with new and existing partners. Delegates will also be given the basic tools to promote their club and attract new members by using innovative ways of engaging with their customers and their community. Finally the workshop gives the delegates some to-dos on how to run their club effectively and efficiently and how to develop new ways of working in order to generate new income streams.

How to Grow Your Club’s Income – from Fundraising to Income Generation

Sports clubs must develop a sustainable income model – getting away from the panicky Dash for Cash often running around literally begging for money. The key is to look at the whole operation and ambition of your club and then identify and implement projects which can help grow your income to match your requirements, including generating cash reserves for replacements and developments. 

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The creativity and commercial awareness of a number of community sports clubs who are ensuring their sustainability will be shared. This workshop will give you plenty of thoughts, tools and to-dos on how you can develop better income generating strategies and initiatives that are right for your club. In your environment, with your skills and contacts and aligned with your mission. It will help you move from a fundraising culture to one of income generation where you provide real benefits that people will pay for and has value to your customers… Throughout the workshop  there are dozens and dozens of proven ideas on how to generate income and concrete advice on how to implement the most appropriate ones.

Leadership, Management and Volunteering at Your Community Sports Club

Successful leadership and management of the modern community sports club require delivery against sporting and social objectives while ensuring the financial sustainability of the organisation. Leaders and managers need a distinct set of skills to thrive in this context where clubs are operating in a competitive and changing environment.

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This workshop focuses on how to develop a culture, processes and tools which improve the leadership and management of your club.  It will specifically focus on how to attract, retain and reward passionate and skilled volunteers who can really add value to your club. It will also help you transform your club into a Can Do club. It will also cover how clubs can make themselves attractive to skilled and dedicated volunteers who can make a real difference. You will learn all about how well-run clubs with a good structure, innovation, communication and motivation in place are successfully recruiting and retaining skilled and passionate volunteers.  Delegates will also be taught SMN’s unique 10-step plan for welcoming and retaining volunteers.


How to Promote Your Club – Raising the Profile of Your Club Across Your Community

Successful clubs do engage and communicate with users, members and other stakeholders using a number of tools, often involving members and their networks, thus reaching much wider audiences at almost no cost. This workshop covers how to use social and mobile media to communicate with members, sponsors and supporters. A key strand is SMN’s unique tool 4COM: Linking up COMmunity, COMmunication, welCOMing and COMputers which enables them to connect all your

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promotional activities. Delegates will learn how to develop Partnership Promotions with external non-sport partners from the Police to Housing Associations. Delegates will understand how a higher profile will help them to attract more members, volunteers, supporters and sponsors – and also how you can attract more support for their various events and projects by telling the world about the good work they do. Implementing the advice and ideas from this workshop will help clubs build a higher profile which will help them to attract more members, volunteers, supporters and sponsors – and also how they can attract more support for their various events and projects by telling the world about the good work they do.

More People at Your Club – From Membership Secretary to Club Grower

If clubs are to increase the number of members and supporters they must become much more marketing and customer focused. The time has come for them to create exciting sport and exercise experiences. They must increase their focus on people’s needs and wishes and get away from an internally-focused culture too often based on outdated views and attitudes.

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They must develop a welcoming culture across the whole club so everybody who walks into the club feels like a guest in one’s home – regardless of whether they are aspiring Olympians or recreational participants. This workshop covers how to create a welcoming club and grow your membership by listening to everybody who comes to your club – making sure you have conversations which help you determine what they really want. It will also focus on how to attract informal participants who can still add considerably to your club. You will learn how to create WOW experiences that people will really remember and tell their friends about.

How Your Club Can Become a Hub for Your Community – #MoreThanASportsClub

Great sports community sports clubs work for and with their communities, and as a consequence, both parties benefit. They are in reality Hubs for their Communities. They link up their assets, skills and relationships with people, groups and institutions in their communities.

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They create Shared Value – a new kind of partnership, in which both the club and the community contribute directly to the strengthening and development of each other. This workshop will help you to become well connected to your community and find a common purpose between your partners and yourself. You will be given advice on the best ways to work together, benefitting both parties and on how to make it easier to understand each other and benefit from doing so. It will also cover how you can best assess your potential for working with community partners – what are your assets, relationships and skills? A key strand of this guide is the 12 Steps for Creating Shared Value With Your Community, which they then can implement straight away.

What people say

“I would recommend Svend Elkjaer of SMN to sports organisations looking to grow

their community clubs and their membership. He delivers relevant and professional

support and advice to help sport and clubs to grow and develop.“


David Marshall,

Head of Development, , British Gymnastics


“Svend has a unique blend of understanding what makes businesses successful and

how community sports operates and manages to get the message of the need for

change across in an interesting, entertaining and thought-provoking way. Feedback

regarding his sessions has been excellent. 


Adrian Leather,

Executive Director,, Lancashire Sport

“the feedback from the centre managers has been very positive and they said that you were a breath of fresh air and an excellent motivator”

Powys Council

“I would strongly recommend Svend Elkjaer of SMN to any sports club which wants to

develop into a welcoming, sustainable community sports enterprise.”


Jonathan James

Chair, , Doncaster Belles Ladies FC