Turn online shopping to sustainable fundraising source

Hits: 32

Turn online shopping and the power of your community into a long term, free, and sustainable fundraising source

 

Webinar Tuesday 25th October 7.30 pm BST

We have seen many examples where sports clubs have benefitted in terms of membership and income from playing a stronger role in their communities. And with a stronger focus on sport’s ability to change people’s lives, there is an even stronger scope for sports clubs to play a bigger role in their communities and the lives of people around them and become #MoreThanAClub.

Also as sports clubs must develop a sustainable income model – getting away from the panicky Dash for Cash, 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.

It is key to integrate the sporting aspects and ambitions and your income generation as you must ensure that all your club’s operations are financially sustainable.

That will also be helped by becoming a hub for your community as more people will take an interest in your club and want to support you and take part in your activities and events.

This webinar will give you

Thoughts, Tools, and To-dos on how

you can utilise your community involvement to help grow

your income from online shopping.

Turn online shopping to sustainable fundraising source

Shout Nice

Hits: 21

Shout Nice (Råb Pænt)
campaign launched in Denmark

The Danish Football Association (DBU) launches a campaign to improve parent, coach and spectator behaviour and language at community and junior football matches.

Seven out of ten referees at youth and non-league football matches in Denmark have experienced abusive behaviour and language over the last two years (something we fear is far too common across the world, hence why there is a shortage of qualified officials at many football leagues.  There are community leagues in the UK where 40% of matches will not have accredited referees.

In Denmark, over the last two years
  • 55 per cent of football referees have experienced coaches using foul language at them
  • 53 per cent of football referees have experienced spectators using foul language at them
  • 52 per cent of football referees have experienced players using foul language at them
  • 23 per cent of football referees have experienced threats in connecting with a match where they are officiating

In England, 93.7% of match officials say they have experienced verbal abuse – higher than other sports such as cricket (56.5%) and rugby union (53.7%), and significantly higher than in other European countries.

Abuse is still a significant issue, probably the biggest in refereeing. Mental health within referees is intrinsically tied to abuse. According to the Football Association, which governs the game in England, assaults occur in 0.007% of matches, approximately two a week.

 

An FA spokesperson said: “We work alongside our County FA network to offer all referees in their local area appropriate support.

But the story of Satyam Toki, a 28-year-old referee who was left bleeding after being hit by a footballer he had sent off for foul language at a game in Acton, Ealing, London, on 9th August 2020. Officials from around the country looked on in horror as the video clip of this vicious assault was disseminated across referee forums and on social media.

The player who committed the assault received just a warning from police after being given a 10-year ban by the local football association.
Police say they issued the caution after careful consideration, but Toki believes there is an element of racial discrimination to the decision as attacks on white officials have led to assault charges and court proceedings.

 

 Toki says it sends out the wrong message about protecting officials:
“This was an unprovoked attack and I don’t really know why the police have come to this decision. I was injured above my eye and my kit was covered in blood, I believe they haven’t done their job properly. There have been incidents in the past where they have taken individuals to court. I didn’t want to mention it but it feels like discrimination against me. If something had happened against a white official, would it have been taken more seriously?”

Further outrage from Toki’s assault ensued when, upon appeal, the perpetrator of the vicious attack had his FA playing ban reduce by half, to five years. This left many referees feeling incredibly uneasy about going out to officiate at a time when Toki’s assault was on the front and back pages and there was a multitude of other attacks taking place, such another in the same week which left a referee with a perforated eardrum. Many officials said it did not sit right with them that criminals were being allowed to play again sooner, with a groundswell of opinion amongst referees that assaults on match officials should lead to a lifetime ban from football before a referee is killed.

That was was the case in Holland where 41-year-old Richard Nieuwenhuizen was kicked to death by six teenagers and the father of one of the boys when operating as an assistant referee.

Most of the terms used by the spectators whether in Denmark, England or somewhere else we can not print here, but I am sure we have are all aware of them or have indeed heard them ourselves.

Foul language must be kicked out
The Danish Råb Pænt campaign gives a strong hint to players, coaches, spectators and refs to stop using foul language and cheer on the matches using some more encouraging terms.

Bent Clausen, vice-chair of DBU says:

“Football is about emotions, about togetherness and fighting spirit.  That is the heart of football and we shouldn’t change that. But we will not tolerate bad behaviour and offensive language at football matches and that is why we are insistent that we must respect each other and be well-behaved every time we play football.

Especially, we must protect our new and young referees, because otherwise, their bad experiences will cause them to stop refereeing.

The campaign includes a video that, in a slightly humorous way show that you can use an acceptable language jgarjgrjgrejgretjgertjgtej

It also includes posters to be put in changing rooms and clubhouses encouraging people to Shout Nice (Råb Pænt) and Show Respect (Husk Respekten).

 

 

There is also a competition where you can win a shirt signed by the Danish national team and tickets for a Danish international match.

You have come up with something humourous that Danish international goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel could be saying when he is facing a penalty-taker!

The Danish FA puts much emphasis on improving the culture within the clubs and show respect for officials, opponents and everyone else that come to the club. Coaches, committee members and other volunteers should play a key role in developing a more friendly, respectful and welcoming culture all across the club.

And, finally, a question to you:

How you are making sure that you, your club and your team treat the officials, referees, umpires and you come in contact with feel welcome and respected?

Sweating the Asset

Hits: 15

Sweating the Asset

Introducing Facility Enterprise for community sports clubs and facilities

Facility Management, Community Sports Enterprise and Community Impact all coming together

Report from a Sports Marketing Network webinar, run by Svend Elkjaer, Founder/Director

Asset transfer is a growing phenomenon…but not everybody should do it!

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 many community groups and sports clubs now run their own facilities and can grow their impact in the community.

Some are in a brilliant state, well-maintained and generating income to help for the upkeep of the facility and the running of the clubs. However, there are, unfortunately. also, too many sports facilities, which are in a bad state of repair, being left to the elements and not a place where no one, apart from the club diehards, wants to spend any time. 

So, this can be a daunting task for people who normally are volunteers with little experience in fundraising, planning laws, budgeting and the dozens of aspects involved with developing your community sports facility.

Unfortunately, we have seen too many examples where these developments don’t go to plan, in some cases with dire consequences:

  • the club/organisation does not have the leadership and enterprise experience to make the facility viable and it soon falls into disrepair
  • the club/organisation just wants to be ‘just-a-place-for-sport’ and because there is little no connection with the community, the place is under-utilised
  • due to a lack of experience, good advice and thought-through strategy, the facility is not designed to meet the requirements for running a viable enterprise

Over the years, Sports Marketing Network has worked with probably more community sports facilities than most other people and we have seen some fantastic places, where the clubs/centres can maintain and develop their facilities through strong management and enterprise.

Svend started the webinar by defining sports facility management as overseeing and managing leisure centres, gyms, or other sports facilities, such as practice courts, swimming pools, etc.

Common duties will typically include preparing current financials for the owner of the facility, managing staff and inventory, as well as ordering supplies, equipment and scheduled maintenance or repairs.

He then presented this slide

 

This slide highlights how important innovation and community engagement is for developing and delivering a really great and financially sustainable sports facility.

That is highlighted in this slide which highlights the importance for your facility to be that hub for the community where community groups, institutions, authorities and so on partner up with your facility and all parties benefit from sharing values and links.

Sport and our facilities must create shared value with its communities

Shared Value for sports clubs and other activity providers can be defined as a new kind of partnership, in which both the club and the community contribute directly to the strengthening and development of each other.

Any centre/club that wants to share value with its community must open up the club and the way it operates to people from outside its ‘inner circle’. By gradually engaging with new groups and institutions e.g. from Women’s Institutes to colleges, you will also connect with new audiences who will bring new ideas, people and skills to your club. 

 

Svend then introduced the concept of the Community Sports Enterprise where, as the slide shows, there are eight key strands to develop a well-run, sustainable enterprise facility. Those eight strands are interdependent so every facility enterprise must constantly be working on maximising the experiences they provide, the way they generate income and so on.

 

The webinar then introduced the concept of the balanced income model where facility enterprises develop various funding and income streams from donors, funders, partners and customers ensuring they are less reliant on one single one.

 

Svend then discussed change and leadership and highlighted how often change programmes fail because there are too many people who are afraid of change and their own role in that strange new world.  He highlighted this little story he heard on his local radio station.

 

Svend then discussed change and leadership and highlighted how often change programmes fail because there are too many people who are afraid of change and their own role in that strange new world. 
He highlighted this little story he heard on his local radio station.

He then also listed the 12 key paths to developing and delivering successful projects:

 

  • Get the vision and scope right and get all stakeholders to agree on what the project is trying to achieve
  • Defining major deliverables – do a sanity check (you can’t deliver eternal health and happiness in an afternoon!)
  • Plan the project – Get the BIG picture. Allocate time, activities, resources and financials remembering that a good plan is much more than just a schedule or list of activities
  • Planning is important – the plan is an expression of the planning/thinking that’s gone into it
  • Identify key risks and issues – what can you influence as opposed to worrying about things you can’t – then have a plan B: Say, what happens if it rains at the day of the cricket festival
  • Learn from others’ mistakes – you won’t live long enough to make them all yourself
  • Focus on getting the job done and not necessarily on how it is done
  • Good, honest communication with your project team and any other groups and stakeholders is crucial
  • Overcome complacency – work with real urgency.
  • Motivate team members and stakeholders to deliver quality results. Saying thank you and give people small cool gifts. You can be popular and liked and getting things done
  • Know your key numbers – all the time (participation, income, costs, resources spent and time left).
  • Ensure that every day you are closer to your targets – the best way to miss a target or budget is bit by bit and hope you will catch up tomorrow!

He then suggested that every facility should consider subletting space to community services such as health centres, beauty salons, vets or as in the case of Westquarter & Redding Cricket Club who are renting out one of the buildings on their ground to a children’s nursery, so apart from the very welcome rental income they also get loads on local young families using their car park and becoming familiar with the club.

 

 

He then highlighted the importance of providing
a great customer experience, ie in the case of how you serve your coffee:

Then followed some great case studies where community sports clubs and enterprises had delivered some amazing transformations of existing places, from tennis clubs, climbing centres and skate parks – as Svend says

“it can be done”, just get on with it and use the three 3s.

 

To listen to the whole recording of the webinar click here and if you want to have a chat with Svend on how he can help with sweating your asset and run a viable, enterprising facility contact him 01423 326 660 or email svend@smnuk.com.

Sweat the Asset webinar

How community sport and physical activity can become more diverse and inclusive

Hits: 45

How community sport and physical activity can attract more people, partners and funding by becoming more diverse and inclusive

Despite continued efforts, and various initiatives, community sport and physical activity in most places has not managed to significantly increase participation among people with different attributes and backgrounds (i.e. race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion) in a meaningful way.
 
Diversity is the mix of peoples’ different attributes and backgrounds and a good way is to think about diversity is to think about your local community. Does your club/centre reflect the diversity of your local community? Diversity is the mix of people, inclusion is trying to get this mix to all work together in harmony.

Representing your members and your community?

Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) is an important sports body in Australia due to the importance of life on the beaches in Australia and the many resultant accidents in the water.

40% of drowning accidents happen to people born outside the country as people from Somalia, Afghanistan and so on often can’t swim and understand the dangers of the sea. 

Also, 43% of the 140.000 members of SLSA are females, so all told one can only wonder over the composition of the SLSA board and how they are engaging with 43% of their members and a large sector of the Australian community?

How are things at your place when it comes to representing your members and your community?

It’s both about people and money

Being a inclusive, diverse and equitable place where people of all backgrounds can feel they belong and are part of something good is fantastic. But another great reason is something more prosaic; Money.

Here are some estimates of the purchasing power of some of our minorities.

The pink pound

Pink money describes the purchasing power of the LBGT+ community. With the rise of the gay rights pink money has gone from being a fringe or marginalised market to a thriving industry in many parts of the Western world such as the USA and UK. Many businesses and places now specifically cater to gay customers, including nightclubs, shops, restaurants, and even taxicabs; the demand for these services stems from common discrimination by traditional businesses and places.

In 2019, LGBT adults globally held a combined buying power of approximately $3.7 trillion and the UK gay market is worth an estimated £6 billion per year.

The Blue pound

The spending power of people with disabilities is really rather sizeable. There are about 11 million disabled people in the UK and it is generally estimated that they spend around 80 billion pounds per year. If businesses design stylish mobility products, they will benefit. If shops and restaurants provide quality access and disabled facilities, they will do the same.

The ethnic pound

1 in 6 individuals living in the UK are from an ethnic minority background and they spend £145 billion in the economy, yet only 1 in 5 companies are reaching out to them as consumers

How diverse and inclusive and representative of your members
and your community is your board?

So, how to start your journey towards becoming a more diverse and inclusive place


First, this is not about policies – it’s about developing a welcoming culture and experiences for everyone.

We can all download some wonderful policies and then claim that we are diverse and inclusive. But it is about how everyone within your club, group, facility sports body behave and welcome people from the whole community.

It all starts at the door – how do new people feel when they stand outside your place for the first time?
Is this how a new person feels when they stand outside your place for the first time?

Now imagine you are this young girl.

Yesterday, she watched a short video about your sport and thought she would like to give it a go. After some toing and froing, she did find your website
(does your club have a vibrant social media presence where this girl can see whether she knows somebody there?)

It was a bit difficult to find out exactly when she could come to the club as a newcomer, what she should wear, whether she needed to bring her own equipment…all those questions that most of would struggle to answer before going somewhere for the first time.

She managed to get to where your club trains and there she is standing no doubt feeling apprehensive.  Three members have just walked past her, chatting away, all dressed in the ‘right gear’. Honestly, I don’t think anybody would be very surprised if she decided to go back home, never to be seen again at your club.

I am sure this wouldn’t happen at your club. I am sure there would be somebody who would make sure that this girl would be made to feel really welcome, introduced to people, join a ‘Get Into Session etc.

Is this how a new person feels when they stand outside your place for the first time?

Now imagine you are this young girl.

Yesterday, she watched a short video about your sport and thought she would like to give it a go. After some toing and froing, she did find your website
(does your club have a vibrant social media presence where this girl can see whether she knows somebody there?)

Welcoming Sport

Hits: 40

 

Welcoming Sport –
developing a more welcoming culture across community sport

 

Let’s build an awareness, training, communication and award programme designed to increase diversity and inclusion across community sport

 

 

You can watch a recording of a presentation of some of our thinking around Welcoming Sport here
Despite continued efforts, and various initiatives, community sport and physical activity in most places has not managed to significantly increase participation among people with different attributes and backgrounds (i.e. race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion) in a meaningful way.

Also, we continue to see those groups lag behind their white counterparts in terms of being physically active and living long and healthy lives.

The sporting landscape has changed enormously in recent years. Government and community expectations for good governance, integrity, equality, member protection and child safeguarding means that providing safe, fair and inclusive sporting environments is no longer an aspiration, but an imperative.

 

How Northumberland Cricket Board (NCB) developed a diverse and inclusive Board

The NCB was formed in 2010 and initially, it comprised white men with either a cricket and/or local authority background.  Russell Perry, the Chair then decided that to become a more relevant and representative group they had to bring in people with a different background and skillset.

They brought the first woman on to the Board, who opened up NCB to the world of social media and stuck a chord with their much younger staff.

The process was led by Claris D’cruz, a local charity barrister/consultant and an NCB Director.

Gradually, they broadened the scope of the members of the Board, challenged groupthink and brought in new contacts and skills, which helped them to engage better with their community, funders and the ECB.

The board now has twelve members, three women, three of Asian descent, four in their forties and two in their thirties.

The demographic of the communities in which sport operates has also changed dramatically. Our culturally, linguistically and gender diverse communities are looking for sporting options and experiences that celebrate diversity, promote inclusion, and most importantly, make people feel like they belong.

We must develop community sports places that are welcoming to everyone and ‘not just people like ourselves’

We must develop pro-active behaviours, options and actions to make people from all backgrounds, ages and abilities feel welcome, respected and that they belong at your club/centre. Being inclusive is about following best practices for what sport/physical activity should be so that everyone can get the most out of it.

Diversity is the mix of peoples’ different attributes and backgrounds and a good way is to think about diversity is to think about your local community. Does your club/centre reflect the diversity of your local community? Diversity is the mix of people, inclusion is trying to get this mix to all work together in harmony.

How Bright Star Boxing attracts non-boxers
One of the over 50s sessions in progress at Brightstar
Bright Star Boxing Academy is unlike any other gym. Set up by founder Joe Lockley in 2015, it started simply as a way to get fit and practise boxing in Shropshire. However, since its inception, the gym has become a pillar of the community, helping people from across the West Midlands to get fit while also tackling mental health issues.
Today Bright Star runs sessions for groups ranging from women who have suffered sexual
abuse to homeless people those young people who are excluded or at risk of exclusion from school and social prescribers.

Every Saturday the gym also hosts ‘Counterpunch’, a group aimed specifically at encouraging males to talk about their mental health.

Counterpunch helps the club reach out to vulnerable people, empower them and make
positive changes to their lives by offering informal mental health support from its coaches – many of whom have experienced mental health problems themselves

Making inclusion happen

Everyone should have the opportunity to be actively involved in whatever sport they choose, in whatever capacity they choose. Each sporting organisation should be committed to being inclusive and open to all members of the UK community regardless of age, gender, disability, cultural or religious background or sexual orientation, or other attributes that may add to any person feeling excluded or isolated.

But the reality is, a tale of missed opportunities still exists. Sports and clubs are missing out on entire groups of potential members, players, administrators and volunteers. More importantly, people who want to play sports feel, for a variety of reasons and barriers, excluded and don’t want to become involved.

Welcome to our club?

Golf club secretary: “Of course, we welcome new members,
as long as their handicap is low enough”

 

Those challenges and opportunities exist within culturally and linguistically diverse populations. gender inclusion, homophobia and sexuality, people with a disability, race-based inclusion and religious vilification.

The Welcoming Sport programme aims to improve on that situation

The six components of the programme:

1. Involvement of NGBs, Active Partnerships, leisure trusts, associations representing the less engaged groups and so on

We propose that all potential stakeholders are invited to intro meetings held at strategic locations across the UK.

 

“Asian communities are an important part of the football landscape and should
be better represented across the game.

It’s like in any business if you’re only selecting from a smaller section of the population then what are you missing?”

Gareth Southgate

The purpose is to secure the buy-in from these organisations many of whom may not have been ‘in the same room’ before although they, and their clients, would benefit considerably from a more welcoming culture and behaviour across community sport.

It is therefore key that they, as far as possible, speak the same language and send out the same messages which, unfortunately, is not always the case. The intro meetings should each run for, say, two hours.

We will present the programme and content and listen to feedback and comments and fine-tune the format and content.

We see these intro meetings as an important element in developing the Welcoming Sport movement.

Flyerz Hockey are drawing disabled people into hockey across the UK

‘Flyerz’ hockey is the name widely associated with grassroots disability, inclusive hockey in Great Britain. There are now more than 20 Flyerz sections across England, Wales and Scotland, providing inclusive hockey for disabled people.

In 2011, Access Sport’s Disability Inclusion Programme was launched to support local community sports clubs to become more inclusive of disabled young people. Access Sport partnered with Waltham Forest Hockey Club to create the first fully inclusive hockey section in England, which was named ‘Forest Flyerz’ and inspired other clubs to introduce ‘Flyerz’ hockey.to Access Sport supports hockey clubs in starting their Flyerz section, providing them with the tools and resources they need in their journey to become inclusive of disabled individuals.

In 2011, Access Sport’s Disability Inclusion Programme was launched to support local community sports clubs to become more inclusive of disabled young people. Access Sport partnered with Waltham Forest Hockey Club to create the first fully inclusive hockey section in England, which was named ‘Forest Flyerz’ and inspired other clubs to introduce ‘Flyerz’ hockey.to Access Sport supports hockey clubs in starting their Flyerz section, providing them with the tools and resources they need in their journey to become inclusive of disabled individuals.

Kate Page, Development Manager for Disability Inclusion at Access Sport says, “don’t hesitate! Don’t overcomplicate. There’s no right time – just do it!”. Adapt only when needed. Try to keep sessions similar to the mainstream sessions – adapt or simplify only when necessary”, wise words we think.

2. Awareness/social media campaign 

In 2016 SMN was commissioned by England Golf to develop and deliver an initiative to stimulate and encourage innovation across golf: #MoreThanGolf.  We recommended to England Golf to start out with a social media and PR campaign, fronted by the then CEO, Nick Pink.
That was the first time this type of campaign had been run by a sports body, and as far as we know, the only NGB that has used social media to engage their stakeholders, invite their input, ideas and generally engage with the world around them.

An email account innovation@englandgolf.com was set up and the campaign received 500 email responses. 

 

Half of those said that “there was nothing wrong with golf”, that “this campaign was waste of time and money” and that “BBC should show every minute of the British Open and then the kids would want to play golf”.

But, the other half thanked England Golf for listening, for inviting ideas etc. and many put forward ideas and suggestions, some of which we would have never thought of ourselves.
One of those email responses then asked:
Some internet research then showed that dogs are welcome at many golf clubs across the world,
but we also heard stories about members being rejected from golf clubs because they brought their dogs and “that was against the rules”.

Full stop. It is worth noting that 30 per cent of UK households have a dog.

Then we were alerted to the fact that you can bring your dog onto the Old Course at St Andrews, the home of golf (peak green fee £195.00).  (If you bring your dog to Sunningdale Golf Club (green fee £275) the dog gets a free sausage). 

So, if your dog is welcome at some of the UK’s most prestigious golf courses, surely all other courses should follow suit.

We then came across this website from Germany where you can book onto golf courses where you can bring your dog. 

Every year in South Shields, outside Newcastle, the world’s largest Dog Walk takes place with 34,000 dogs and their owners, raising £ 1 Mio for doggy charities. Also, 20 National Trust properties run dog walk in aid of Hearing Dogs for the Deaf, so they raise money for a good cause and attract visitors to their properties.

 

 We told those stories at England Golf’s sell-out innovation conference, that SMN organised for them at Villa Park, which brought together 200 people from across golf keen to be inspired to develop new initiatives.

 We propose to a similar social media/PR campaign with a strapline such as #MoreWelcomingSport where we invite ideas and examples on how we can make sport more welcoming, diverse and inclusive. 

 
We reckon that, out there, there are plenty of good examples and ideas that we then can share and highlight through the campaign.
 

Getting females from multi-ethnic communities to play football 

Nagin Ravand is an Afghan refugee whose parents moved to Denmark in 2002, so she was brought up in a very egalitarian ‘Danish-style’ culture. 

Relatively quickly she discovered that she was a good footballer and she never considered that it was unusual in Denmark to see girls playing football wearing a hijab.

When she was 12 the family moved to Gellerup an area in Aarhus, which is a multicultural community where many residents come from countries where females do not normally play football.

So, Nagin started a girls section at a local football club and gradually people got used to seeing this group of females playing football in hijabs she learned how to engage with both the girls and the parents.

When she realised that some of the parents were concerned that their daughters were missing out on their school work due to football, she started study classes alongside the football sessions.

Since then Nagin has won several sports and community awards and is now an ambassador for getting females from multicultural backgrounds to play football.
In between, she is also a second-year student at Aarhus University.

With an adventurous heart and an open mind, she is a true role model, fighting the barriers for girls and women to be active in sports.

 For Nagin, young people from deprived areas must get the same opportunities and experiences as other young people.

”It is important that we give Muhammed and Aamirah something to talk with Svend and Maria about. It is about giving the young people something they can have in common” she points out.

3. Workshop/webinar programme 

Using the combined expertise and experience from SMN together with feedback and ideas gathered during the first two steps of the programme we will develop a series of face to face workshops and follow-up webinars.

Over the years, SMN has developed a toolbox that we tend to use when we develop our courses:

  • Thoughts: Through story-telling, examples and inquisitive questions we challenge the status quo and help you think outside the box and build an edge to growth
  • Tools: We provide you with a wide range of simple tools on how you can achieve best practice, improve and grow the business in simple steps
  • To-Dos: Having decided which tools to use, we can then give you simple templates and action points – to use there and then

At this stage, we reckon there will be a programme with a blend of face-to-face workshops and online webinars.

We propose to offer a 3-hour intro workshop called Welcoming Sport where we go through how providers of community sport can develop and deliver great, welcoming experiences for everyone regardless of their background and skills.

Modules and also webinar topics can include

  • Modernising your board to become more diverse and inclusive
  • How to become a more diverse and inclusive place
  • How to run a really great Open Day for all
  • First impressions count – how to get new people through the door
  • From sports coach to welcoming activator
  • From Performance and Pathway to Pleasure and Participation
  • Using social media to attract and engage people
  • Working in partnership with non-sport community partners
  • Making people wanting to come back by giving them great experiences
  • How to become a hub for your community
No doubt, our engagement  with partners and our social media campaign will bring out other topics and aspects which we will then incorporate into the programme.
Modules and also webinar topics can include

  • Modernising your board to become more diverse and inclusive
  • How to become a more diverse and inclusive place
  • How to run a really great Open Day for all
  • First impressions count – how to get new people through the door
  • From sports coach to welcoming activator
  • From Performance and Pathway to Pleasure and Participation
  • Using social media to attract and engage people
  • Working in partnership with non-sport community partners
  • Making people wanting to come back by giving them great experiences
  • How to become a hub for your community
Mixed Ability Sports breaking down barriers

Mixed Ability Sports (MAS) was conceived to promote social inclusion and meaningful interaction between individuals and groups who wouldn’t necessarily share paths in their local communities. At least not in ‘normal’ circumstances.

Many of their participants have experienced – or still, experience – exclusion, social isolation and segregation daily because of their perceived diversity, and MAS is their only asset.

An asset to their physical, social and mental wellbeing, a space of equality, rights and equal opportunities. A crucial part of their identity.

Mixed Ability sport has the potential for positive impacts at the individual, club and societal level:

  • At the individual level, participants reported both physical and mental health benefits, increased self-confidence and self-determination as well as a sense of belonging in the Mixed Ability team, club or group. For example, one participant stated ‘It’s made me more confident about doing other things. When I start learning new things, and if I haven’t done it before, I get really nervous … and since I’ve come here I don’t feel I get nervous anymore.’ Antony Binns, Mixed Ability boxing participant.
  • At the club level, respondents reported a more inclusive club culture, new members and a membership more representative of the local community, more accessible infrastructure and coach development. A representative from one of the Clubs embracing Mixed Ability said ‘Mixed Ability has transformed our club culture. It makes me wonder how we can make the rest of society more like this!’
  • More broadly, the impacts included the meaningful inclusion of disabled participants in mainstream sport. Also, participants reported shifts in perceptions of dis/ability, a raised awareness of barriers to participation in sport and other areas of society.

4.    Online library resource with guides, case studies and webinar videos

Over the years, SMN has acquired considerable experience with building comprehensive libraries of resources supporting innovation and enterprise within community sport, and our current premium service, Sports Enterprise Network comprises one of the biggest libraries/resources of its kind.

We are proposing that Welcoming Sport, over time, build a similar database/library covering how to deliver welcoming, inclusive and diverse sport with guides, case studies and webinar videos that we are constantly producing for the Welcoming Sport project.

Initially, SMN will produce a 32-page guide on How to become a Welcoming place for sport, which and we will then produce add-on guides and so and build this all-encompassing library covering all aspects of delivering welcoming, inclusive and diverse sport.

 5.    Awards programme with conference and award presentation

In 2015, working with Cricket Scotland on the #MoreThanCricket programme, SMN helped them to introduce an awards programme for their clubs that matched the ambitions
Cricket Scotland had for their clubs and got them away for the traditional awards, for ‘best coach’ and so on.

The new categories were: 

  • Biggest Change-Maker at a Scottish Cricket Club
  • Scotland`s Most Welcoming Cricket Club
  • Best use of `Bite-Sized` Volunteers
  • Best use of Social Media
  • Most Innovative and Effective Income Generation
  • Strongest Community Engagement

The impact was considerable, as the whole support and training programme was also geared towards improving the clubs’ performance in these six areas.
The awards were presented at the annual Club Enterprise Conference.

We would like to propose that we include a Welcoming Sport Award programme in this project
The awards could include: 

  • The overall most welcoming place for sport
  • The most welcoming sports club
  • The most welcoming leisure centre
  • The most welcoming sports project
  • The most diverse and inclusive place for sport
  • Most welcoming coach/instructor in community sport

The awards could be presented at an annual Welcoming Sport conference where we highlight best practices, showcase great examples, bring in ideas and thinking from customer service, hospitality, retail and entertainment and generally, inspire bodies, clubs, enterprises, charities, coaches and others.

6. Network with e-news and sharing of stories and lessons learned

As the project gathers momentum, we propose that we set up the Welcoming Sport Network where we, say, monthly, share ideas and best practices, run webinars, follow-up meetings and generally support the Welcoming Sport movement and momentum to keep the whole ethos growing.

Sports Marketing Network – a strong, credible and experienced partner

Since 2006 SMN have helped physical activity and community sports providers to share best practice on how to become vibrant, visible and viable and develop innovative and enterprising enterprises.

We have been described as positive disruptors and we have worked with a wide range of sport, physical activity and community organisations helping them to adapt, change and become better equipped to the changing landscape.

More than 4000 community sports providers from across the have participated in one of our Grow Your Club workshops, benefitted from 1:2:1 consultancy and mentoring, attended one of our conferences, participated in one of our webinars or read one of our Guides, so we have developed an unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the opportunities and challenges for the enterprise and innovation aspects of community sport and physical activity.

Thousands of people involved with community sport and physical activity across the UK and Scandinavia have participated in one of our ‘hot topics’ conferences covering issues such as Innovation and Enterprise in Community Sport, More Disabled People into Sport, Delivering great sport and physical activities for and with ethnically diverse communities, More Girls into Sport, Britain’s Active Parks, Disability Sport or Sport for Disabled People and A Healthier Nation through Sport and Physical Activity.

We have also developed and delivered year-long projects for Cricket Scotland, Rugby Football League, Football Association Wales Trust, Copenhagen City Council, Ulster University, sportscotland, London Sport, Sport Hub Denmark Golf England, Sport Wales and Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity/Burgess Sport so we have considerable experience in developing and delivering, sometimes complex, blended, innovative award-winning projects which make a real difference.