Welcoming Clubs – Support Programme

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Welcoming Clubs – Develop a more welcoming culture across

community sports clubs 

A comprehensive training and support programme for community sports clubs and other providers

  • with a guide on becoming a Welcoming Club – Develop community sports clubs that are welcoming to everyone regardless of background, ethnicity or ability with advice, ideas and case studies
  • three webinars with case studies from community sports clubs that have benefitted from adapting a welcoming and inclusive approach
  • a support network for community sports organisations to help them to develop a Welcoming Club one-to-one mentoring support from Svend Elkjaer, founder and principal of the Sports Marketing Network

Our community sports clubs and other providers could benefit greatly from the added benefits of being a Welcoming Club

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 online shopping, watching Love Island, apathy, etc. by providing better experiences for each customer segment.

Life is changing and community sport has to change with it, full stop. Or even better – if you listen to people and their lives you should be able to anticipate the changes in their needs and wants. You can then adapt your offering and service so you are always that half a step ahead.

 Develop great leadership and management

Amazingly, very few clubs put much focus on how they lead and manage themselves.  Many somehow expect that having a few people on the committee and a 32-year old constitution will ensure that their club is well-run and going forward in the right direction and at the right speed, both on and off the pitch.

I am not suggesting there is one best leadership and management style, which suits all sports clubs.  There are many different styles and each suits various situations.  The key is to be aware of what style is right for you, at this moment in time.

 

SMN have seen plenty of examples where the right leadership, individually and collectively, can make a significant difference to the growth and development of clubs and have, unfortunately, also seen too many examples where bad, or lack of,

You are not ‘just a sports club’
You are in the experience business

So, be honest, how welcoming is your club?  Here are five simple statements; which one fits best in how people at your club feel?
Please now ask as many people, as possible, within your club which of the five statements below best describe the culture and attitude within your club. Then listen and act on their comments.

  1. We are completely focused on being welcoming, be it towards players, members, supporters and sponsors and we are aware of their different needs and we work hard to satisfy those needs
  2. We are getting increasingly welcoming although not everybody may be as welcoming as we would like.  We know how we want to improve and we are working hard to get there
  3. We need to focus less on internal and political issues and more on being welcoming
  4. We rarely talk about being welcoming – do we really know what that is?
  5. We are a sports club – why should we be talking about being welcoming?
Our community sports clubs must become welcoming towards the WHOLE community

Despite continued efforts, and various initiatives, community sport and physical activity in England 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 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 clubs 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 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.

We need more welcoming activators – not more technical coaches

For many people, great coaching is roughly 10% technical skill, 20% being reactive and able to think on your feet and about 70% being nice to people. In their research into the sporting workforce published in 2017, London Sport asked almost 2000 regular Londoners what they’d mostly be looking for in a sports leader and things like ‘focused on fitness’ and ‘focused on technique’ came pretty far down the list. What came out consistently on top were qualities like ‘motivating’, ‘friendly’ and ‘not going to judge me’. 

The first-ever comprehensive programme helping to develop Welcoming Club  – community sports clubs that are welcoming to everyone regardless of background

  • You will receive a 36-page guide on becoming with advice, ideas and case studies
  • You will be invited to three webinars on how to become a Welcoming Club  – community sports clubs that are welcoming to everyone regardless of background
  • case studies from community sports clubs that have benefitted from adapting a welcoming and inclusive approach
  • The one-hour webinars will be held at 7 pm GMT on

Wednesday 19th January 2022

Wednesday 9th February 2022

Wednesday 23rd February 2022

  • You will be invited to join a support network for community sports organisations to help them to develop #MoreThanAClub
  • You will receive one-to-one mentoring support from Svend Elkjaer, founder and principal of the Sports Marketing Network

This whole package is available at just £58.50 with £ 12.00 Early Bird discounts (£46.50) for bookings made before 15th December 2021.

Group discounts are available for governing bodies, sports councils and others.

#MoreThanAClub – Support Programme

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#MoreThanAClub – Develop community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities

A comprehensive training and support programme for community sports clubs and other providers
 
  • with a guide on #MoreThanAClub – Develop community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities with advice, ideas and case studies
  • three webinars with case studies from community sports clubs that have benefitted from adapting a welcoming and inclusive approach
  • a support network for community sports organisations to help them to develop #MoreThanAClub
  • one-to-one mentoring support from Svend Elkjaer, founder and principal of the Sports Marketing Network

Most of our community sports clubs and other providers could benefit greatly from the added benefits of being #MoreThanAClub

At a time when there is an increased focus on how we can create a more coherent society, there seems to be considerable scope for sports clubs to play a pivotal role in our communities. At the same time, many of our clubs and other providers could benefit greatly from the added benefits of engaging with new audiences in terms of new users, volunteers, sponsors and community partners.

The challenge is that too many sports clubs suffer from ‘sporting myopia’ where the main success criteria are being associated with sport only: number of users or members, the performance of the first team or the elite athletes and everything else has to support that. So what happens out there in the community and the ‘real world’ is often regarded as a bit of an irrelevance, even a nuisance, sometimes.

But we have also 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.

Clubs that are #MoreThanAClub sits in the middle of their community and they can play a vital role for its community. This can help the club attract more skilled and passionate volunteers as a wider range of people will want to be involved with the club and they also generate more income as more people come to their matches, events and sponsor the club – it really is that simple.

The slides below highlight how that the more your club is part of its community

  • the more likely you are to attract volunteers from the wide community (and not just parents and formers players)
  • the more likely you are to generate income as more people care about your club and attend your events, and so on

Here are some of the benefits your club could gain from being a community hub:

  • You can reach out to and engage with potential users, members, supporters and partners
  • You can develop new income streams through events, commissioning and partnerships/sponsorships
  • By being more relevant, you can attract more members and volunteers
  • You can become ‘a better club’
  • It will help you generate support from within your community which may prove useful ‘when times are tough’ and you need their support

Why your club should be more than #MoreThanAClub and become a hub for your community 

Great 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.

The benefits of this approach can be considerable in terms of growing membership and volunteer base, increasing income and helping to ensure that the club and the community is sustainable in the long term.

One of the key aspects of every successful sports club I have been in contact with is that they see themselves as a key part of their community and see themselves being in a two-way relationship where both parties benefit.

At the same time, it saddens me to see so many of our clubs and often even bigger ones, who ignore their communities for ages and live in their own, isolated world.  But then when they fall on hard times, they suddenly demand support and money from that community they profess to serve, but in reality, they have ignored.

You must share values with the rest of your community 

The shared value test: Ask your club and your current/potential community partners What can we do for you? What can you do for us? What can we do together?

So what is Shared Value and how could it work for your sports club? 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

Sharing value is not about sharing the value that already exists – it’s about expanding the current pool of value and creating synergy. This then benefits everyone as 2 + 2 becomes 5.

Take your club to your communities – demonstrations in shopping centres, parks and housing estates. Invite people to ‘have a go’ sessions. Go where people are, engage with them and then welcome them, when they come to your club.

The first-ever comprehensive programme helping to develop
#MoreThanAClub – community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities

A comprehensive training and support programme for community sports clubs and other providers
  • You will receive a 36-page guide on becoming #MoreThanAClub – Develop community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities with advice, ideas and case studies
  • You will be invited to three webinars with case studies from community sports clubs that have benefitted from adapting a welcoming and inclusive approach
  • The one-hour webinars will be held at 7 pm on
      Thursday 20th January 2022
Thursday 10th February 2022
Thursday 24th February 2022
  • You will be invited to join a support network for community sports organisations to help them to develop #MoreThanAClub
  • You will receive one-to-one mentoring support from Svend Elkjaer, founder and principal of the Sports Marketing Network

This whole package is available at just £58.50 with £ 12.00 Early Bird discounts (£46.50) for bookings made before 15th December 2021.

Group discounts are available for governing bodies, sports councils and others.

Book your #MoreThanAClub – Develop community sports clubs that are hubs for their communities Support programme here