You have decided to develop your own facility, take on asset transfer or develop your existing facility/clubhouse, all something most clubs only do once in their history, if at all. 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.
Across the UK there are 1000s of clubhouses at our community sports clubs which are bases for 100.000s of people enjoying their favourite sports and, in many cases, they are also places for social and community activities.
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 clubhouses, 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.
Unfortunately, we have seen too many examples where these developments don’t go to plan, in some cases with dire consequences:
- the club does not have the leadership and enterprise experience to make the facility viable and it soon falls into disrepair
- the club just wants to be ‘just-a-sports-club’ and because there is little no connection with the community, the place is under-utilised
- due to 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 are able to maintain and develop their facilities through good management and enterprise.
Tynemouth CC – from struggling cricket club to dynamic cricket enterprise
At Tynemouth Cricket Club the clubhouse is the base for a really enterprising clubs that play a tremendous role in its community, but it was not always so.
In 2005 the club had a falling membership, run down facilities and although they had a history of producing good juniors they were struggling to get teams out.
The club’s annual turnover has gone from £43k to £164k. And they developed a massive community network
Read case story
‘Facility enterprise’ or ‘from sports club to community hub’
If Tynemouth CC had stayed as ‘just a cricket club’ they would have had no chance of raising the funds required and to generate the income to make the facility financially sustainable.
They are also a real hub for their local community and #MoreThanAClub, which makes them much more relevant, way beyond sport.
This thinking then influences
• the way the clubhouse is designed around community needs (while still accommodating sport)
• the way it is funded (community grants/social investments/ low-interest loans)
• the way the enterprise funds its activities through events, sporting and otherwise
Creating Community Sports Change Makers
Introducing Community Sports Change Makers:
An enterprise which changes people’s lives through sport, in a vibrant, visible and viable way
The model helps community sports organisations to understand how by having the right vision and by improving on all their eight strands as a Community Sports Enterprise, they can also deliver on five change areas. These go hand in hand: “You can’t make a difference in people’s lives if you are not a sustainable enterprise, because you won’t be around for long”.
So, how do we develop welcoming clubhouses and community facilities which are designed to be community hubs, and build cultures and skills which enable the club to become a viable community sports enterprise? In short use our facilities as bases for creating Community Sports Change Makers.
The sweating the asset – introducing facility enterprise for community sports clubs programme will help community sports facilities and their clubs to develop the capability and capacity to be great facility managers, community developers and income generators.
Workshops, Webinars, Guides, Consultancy/Mentoring
Obviously, this requires a different approach to the one where ‘winning the league ‘ means everything, but the ironic thing I have seen many cases where the ‘community sports enterprises’ also improve their sporting prowess while changing lives and communities.
What Sweating the asset cover:
• Developing and agreeing with your club’s vision
• Getting the whole club behind you
• Reviewing the situation internally and externally
• Getting the legal structure right
• Funding your development/build
• Getting your project management right
• Facility management – how are you going to manage the facility
• How to best assess your potential for working with community partners – what are your assets, relationships and skills?
• Developing sporting and non-sporting events
• Introduce innovative ways of engaging with your customers and your community
• Learn how to run your club effectively and efficiently
• Develop new ways of working in order to generate new income streams
• How to manage a vibrant community sports club by developing your culture and skills
• Attract and retain skilled and passionate volunteers
• Making a real change for your community and local people
Who is behind Sweating the Asset – Facility Enterprise for community sports clubs and facilities?
This enterprise is run by Gary ONeil, a Former England, Lancashire and Yorkshire amateur cricketer with knowledge and experience with developing community sports clubs and non-profit community organisations’ projects and facilities.
Gary developed and delivers these abilities from a background in asset, facilities, logistics and project management roles within an international corporate company and small/medium sized community businesses.
Gary delivers expertise that provides long-term sustainable and beneficial outcomes for the sports club environment and strategic plans together with partners within the community.
Holding a Master in Business Administration, MBA, Svend founded the Sports Marketing Network (SMN) in 2005 for people involved with the commercial, community and marketing issues across all sports and physical activity; be it club, governing body, local authority or private sports deliverer.
Over the last eight years, more than 4,000 sports providers have benefitted from SMN’s services attending our workshops and presentations, being mentored or receiving consultancy. SMN has also advised, consulted and trained a number of organisations and public bodies including the RFU, FA, Cricket Scotland, Amateur Swimming Association, British Gymnastics, Sport Wales, England Golf, England Athletics, sportscotland, etc.