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Partners and Projects - collaboration, creativity and competence

Some of our Projects

Partners and Projects – collaboration, creativity and competence

SMN partner with a wide range of major sports, community and leisure organisations across the UK and Scandinavia, delivering various innovative and engaging solutions

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.

Some of our Recent Projects

Sport as a tool for social inclusion and change

Thriving Handball Clubs across England

A programme designed to help handball clubs in England become vibrant, visible and viable

An invitation from England Handball to benefit from a bespoke enterprise mentoring and support programme for your club

There is a great opportunity for enterprising handball clubs all across England to benefit from the growing interest in the sport and become real community handball enterprises.
We are experiencing many great handball clubs in England and a great deal of those are keen to develop further into more sustainable community-based organisations which can become #MoreThanAHandballClub.
We also have seen a number of examples from other sports that the clubs that play a bigger role in their communities and in people’s lives, attract more players and volunteers, generate more income and generally have a much better future.
However, England Handball also appreciates that for many aspiring clubs this development, exciting as it is, requires inspiration and support.
This is why we are announcing our new support and mentoring programme where handball clubs from across England are invited to benefit from participating in a 12-month programme where they can develop the skills and programmes which can help transform their clubs.
England Handball have teamed up with Svend Elkjaer of Sports Marketing Network who will be delivering the support and mentoring programme.
Svend has worked with community sports clubs across most sports across the UK has a proven way of helping clubs to grow and become vibrant, visible and viable.

What's involved with being part of this programme?

What’s involved with being part of this programme?If selected, Svend will visit your club and run a workshop with as many people from the club as possible and help you identify your goals, opportunities and challenges. He will give you ideas and support on how to attract more players and volunteers, generate more income and become a bigger part of your community.He will then be working with you for 12 months where we will motivate and inspire and help you over those unavoidable hurdles. Yes, there are always challenges, but most can be overcome. The clubs will be selected based on their desire and willingness to change and grow and not on size or league position.To apply to become part of a truly inspirational programme for handball clubs in England, complete and return the Application Form at the end. Just write why you want your club to be involved and your goals, challenges, opportunities, skills, culture, capacity and capability and what support are you looking for.

Grow Your Club workshop presentation
Here is the video from one of the Grow Your Club workshops that SMN ran for Football Association of Wales Trust in November 2018.

#MoreThanAClub…developing enterprising football clubs across Wales

Building a better future for Welsh Football

A new initiative from the FAW Trust helping develop more enterprising community clubs which can become vibrant, visible and viable hubs for their communities across Wales

Community sports clubs need to adopt a new mindset and learn a new skill set – taking the best from successful social enterprises and the hospitality sector. They have to recognise that sport operates in the experience business and that it is competing for people’s leisure time and money and has to attract people away from shopping centres, watching Love Island, apathy etc. by providing better experiences.

This is why the governing body for football in Wales, the FAW Trust, is launching a two-year support, training and award programme for their workforce and enterprising community football clubs across Wales.

Caroline Spanton, Head of Football Development at FAW Trust said: “Since I joined the FAW Trust, I have been impressed with the engagement and enterprise across community football in Wales. People growing their clubs, clubs being hubs for their communities and being really welcoming places – it is all very exciting, and FAW Trust is playing its part in this.”

We must acknowledge that community football clubs are also facing strong challenges in order to survive and grow in an increasingly competitive and demanding market. Changes in people’s lifestyles, consumer habits and expectations and their use of digital media are creating challenges and opportunities. We have to be ready to overcome the first and exploit the latter”,

So I think that we should do more to encourage new thinking on how to attract new members and retain the existing ones, become a hub of the community, grow sponsorship revenue, improve the social life of the club, increase media coverage, benefit from new technology, introduce new revenue streams…”says Caroline Spanton

Key areas for developing enterprising football clubs

Key areas for developing enterprising football clubs across Wales :• Encouraging clubs to develop better relationships within their communities leading to more players, customers, partners and local people becoming involved• Working with diverse groups across society to develop an even more inclusive and welcoming sport which is relevant to people’s lives• Helping clubs to broaden their appeal and for their clubs to become hubs for their communities• Developing relationships with community partners, from education, housing, youth and ethnic groups to engage new people• Working across the sport to promote better use of social and digital marketing tools for communicationThe programme is being developed and mainly delivered by Svend Elkjaer of Sports Marketing Network (‘SMN’) who has considerable experience in helping community sports organisations and clubs to become innovative and enterprising.More than 4000 sports clubs have participated in a program delivered by SMN across the UK and in Denmark and clients include Cricket Scotland, London Sport, Copenhagen City Council and Sport Wales.“This exciting programme for FAW Trust includes a number of elements all designed to help to support Trust staff and the community football clubs across Wales to widen their scope and become more enterprising”, said Svend Elkjaer.



The comprehensive programme includes:

• Staff development programme
• SMN mentor support to a selected number of Focus clubs
• FAW Trust staff mentor support to Development Clubs
• Grow Your Club Workshops
• Webinars
• ‘How to’ Guides
• Best practice e-newsletters

Some of the content of the programme includes
• Grow your club
• Better leadership at your club
• More players at your club
• More volunteers at your club
• Improving your environment
• Generating more income
• Raise the profile of your club
• Your club as a hub for the community

For more information on the programme contact
Aled Lewis, Football Development Manager FAW Trust aled.lewis@fawtrust.cymru 07387 027 932

In 2014 we started working with some of the cricket clubs in the Forth Valley helping them to become more vibrant, visible and viable. Using workshops, one-2-one sessions and tools and templates we have since been able to demonstrate considerable improvements in the way these clubs are being and the number of players.

In 2015 this project went nationwide, under a programme called Thriving Clubs: We ran a number of introductory 3-hour workshops where the club representatives were introduced to the concept of making their clubs more vibrant, visible and viable and to the programme.

There was then application process for clubs to join the programme. Clubs completed a simple questionnaire where the main focus was 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.

Cricket Scotland and SMN then selected 11 clubs that benefited from bespoke club consultations.SMN then visited each club for 2-3 hours and using our bespoke tools we helped 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.

The clubs then received remote mentoring, where having agreed on specific action points with each club we then followed up and stay in touch using email, ‘phone or Skype.

We also helped Cricket Scotland to develop their annual new, innovative club awards which included categories such as: Best use of Social Media, Most Innovative and Effective Income Generation, Best Use of Bite-Sized Volunteers, Strongest Community Engagement, Biggest Change-Maker and Most Welcoming Cricket Club. These categories helped to put emphasis on developing more welcoming, relevant and sustainable clubs.

The Thriving Clubs programme is being adapted from year to year and in 2017 we have launched webinars (online seminars) – where all Scotland’s cricket are invited to participate in 6 sessions.

In March 2017, SMN helped develop and deliver Cricket Scotland’s first club conference called #MoreThanCricket. This event, which attracted more than 100+ representatives received a fantastic response.

It is worth noting that in 2016 Cricket Scotland received the International Cricket Council’s Development Programme Annual Awards

SMN has worked and partnered with sportscotland over a number of years. We have run internal enterprise and innovation workshops, run workshops for a number Community Sport Hubs, run training and support programmes for a number of Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport and sportscotland have partnered SMN’s conferences in Scotland.

As James Steel of sportscotland highlighted in a presentation at our conference at Murrayfield about SMN: “They speak our language, They speak honestly, They encourage creativity, They have an eye on the bottom line, They make clubs better and They are fun to work with!

In August 2016 SMN were engaged by England Golf to develop a programme to help encourage and stimulate innovation and enterprise within the sport in England, called #MoreThanGolf. We’ve run internal workshops and sessions and helped stimulate discussions and interest within golf on new ways of engaging with players. New partnerships have been established, new awards been introduced at the England Golf awards and on 11th May 2017 the first conference on innovation and enterprise in golf, #MoreThanGolf, will be held at Villa Park, Birmingham.

In 2016 and 2017 SMN worked with Lambeth Council to help them to deliver on their Sport England-funded This Girl Can Lambeth project. The objective of the programme is to get more 14- 25 year-old females more active. We worked with the delivery partners to help them grow the social media profile of the project and build a shared, strong brand.

This state-funded research institute has been a partner with SMN for a number of years. We have presented at their conferences, organised a study tour to London for 40+ of their members and they support our conferences in Denmark.

Like with many other of our relationships this partnership has evolved over the years and is based on mutual trust and respect.

Copenhagen City Council’s Leisure and Culture visited Liverpool and Manchester in 2016 and SMN helped setting up the visits and ran an introductory workshop. A month later we ran innovation and enterprise workshop for senior managers within the Council’s Leisure and Culture department.

Since then the Council has been a partner with our conferences in Copenhagen and the Deputy Mayor for Leisure and Culture opened our first event in Copenhagen in October 2016.



East Fife Sports Council is one of the 40+ Sports Councils covering the community sports clubs in Scotland. SMN ran an introductory Grow Your Club workshop and are now working on a one – 2 – one basis with 11 clubs across East Fife, from St Andrews to Falkland.


Do get in touch

If you are interested in working together, send us an inquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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