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Grow Your Club Programme for you and your club




Grow Your Club Programme – the UK’s most popular series of enterprise blended learning through workshops, webinars, guides, videos, mentoring and networking opportunities


How to create vibrant, visible and viable community sports clubs which can help change people’s lives




SMN’s renowned Grow Your Club Programme

The world of sport is no different from the world of technology or commerce where the rate of change is increasing all the time.  Sports clubs must not only have the appetite for change, but must also implement these changes and adaptations or they will struggle to exist. 
The competition for people’s time and money has never been greater, and sport is under increasing pressure not only from other past-times such as social media, TV and E-games but more importantly, from inactivity!

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. Svend has mentored dozens of community sports clubs and helped them to grow. 

Packed with inspiring case-stories, easy-to-use templates and tools

You 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

Watch this video which introduces the Grow Your Club programme

Eight key topics  


Better leadership and management of your club


Generating more income for your club


How to raise the profile of your club


How to run a successful Community Launch


More players and athletes at your club


More volunteers at your club


Your club as a community hub


Running an Open Day

Delivered in different formats to suit you and your clubs

Background to the Grow Your Club Programme

Svend Elkjaer holds an MBA from Copenhagen Business School and had a successful career in the media and events industry both in his native Denmark and in Britain.

In 1999 he started his own marketing consultancy in Bedford and soon after he got involved with Bedford Athletic Rugby Union Club (‘The Ath’) as a volunteer Commercial Manager. Using the techniques and skills acquired during his business career he started organising Danish Lunches, Ladies Lunches and Corporate Sevens rugby tournaments, to name but a few activities. Gradually the club became a more welcoming place whilst increasing its income.

When The Ath 1st XV played other clubs in the National Leagues Svend would share ideas and experiences with his counterparts at the opposing clubs.

He then also learned that there is little difference between different clubs and sports as how to attract new members and retain the existing ones, grow sponsorship revenue, increase your attendances, improve the social life of the club, increase media coverage, benefit from new technology and introduce new revenue streams etc.

Svend Elkjaer


SMN is a hands-on enterprise which has developed a number of innovative concepts, we speak honestly, encourage creativity, have an eye on the bottom line, we make community sport better and we (we have been told) are fun to work with!

He then decided to launch an organisation where community sports providers could share best practice on how to become vibrant, visible and viable…hence the Sports Marketing Network.

Since 2005 more than 4,000 people from clubs, County Sports Partnerships, governing bodies, leisure centres, community groups and other activity providers have participated in SMN’s seminars and events.

During 2020 SMN has run a large number of webinars for community sports organisations across the world on issues such as social innovation, kickstarting community sport, developing hybrid sport and innovative income generation, to name but a few.

SMN has also advised, consulted and run training programmes for a number of organisations and public bodies including the RFU, FA, , England Volleyball, Sport Wales, England Handball, Welsh Rugby Union, Badminton England, Cricket Scotland, British Gymnastics, England Squash, Rugby Football League, Football Association of Wales, England Athletics, Universities, a couple of dozen County Sports Partnerships and 45+ local authorities from Liverpool to Bolsover.

Other related Services


SMN’s suite of conferences is renowned for being highly topical and focused on sharing best practice. They enable delegates to learn and exchange ideas on how they can develop and improve the way they run community sport and physical activity.



Projects and Partnerships

SMN partner with a wide range of major sports, community and leisure organisations across the UK and Scandinavia. Partnership projects include conferences, study tours, training and support and inspiration.  Each partner is different and each project is different and we adapt and develop bespoke services.


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



An excellent workshop last night in Ewloe. Really, really enjoyed it and also gave me and our club a lot of ideas and also what to think about moving forward 

Johnstown Youth


Absolutely fabulous evening – a great opportunity for all football clubs across Wales


Buckley Town FC



Johnstown FC


I have to say I have applied a significant amount of the material I learned on courses from you several times. It genuinely has impacted on 1000s of people and many organisations. Personally now I am also a director of a professional rugby league club Swinton Lions and I have been applying material to this organisation also. 

Damian Ridpath

Club Support Officer, England Boxing