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Workshop Series


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How to become a viable Community Sports Enterprise

How sports and physical activity providers can develop and deliver programmes that will help them engage with their communities and become financially sustainable

Three interactive workshops providing thoughts, tools and to-dos for organisations

involved with community sports and physical activity

Grow Your Club Programme for you and your club




Grow Your Club – Workshops

Workshop programme for you and your clubs –
How to create vibrant,visible and viable community sports clubs which can help change people’s lives





SMN’s Grow Your Club workshops  

SMN’s Grow Your Club workshops are based on a combination of best practice from across all sport and leisure and are widely regarded as being thought-provoking, idea-generating, practical and entertaining

These are hands-on workshops which will provide you with literally dozens and dozens of proven ways your club can become vibrant, visible and viable.

No boring theory…just exciting, positive and proven action points drawn from best practice from sports clubs at all levels

There are eight workshops in the Grow Your Club workshop programme and they can easily be adapted to fit into your requirements, be it a club evening or conference.

They normally run for 2 ½ – 3 hours and again that can be amended

Thriving Clubs:

Club inspiration support package

We deliver a comprehensive club inspiration support package for governing bodies of sport, local authorities and sports councils. We have delivered this package for London Sport, Football Association of Wales Trust, England Handball and Rugby Football League amongst others.

Introductory 3-hour workshop(s)
The club representatives are introduced to the concept of making their clubs more vibrant, visible and viable and to the programme.
Application process for clubs to join the programme
Clubs complete a simple questionnaire where the main focus is 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.

Bespoke club consultations
We then visit each club for 2-3 hours and using our bespoke tools we help 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.

Remote mentoring
Having agreed specific action points with each club we then follow up and stay in touch using email, ‘phone or Skype.

Possible webinars
In some cases we run specific webinars and in some cases, the clubs participate in our regular, open webinar


Grow Your Club:

Complete package for you and your clubs

Engaging workshops for volunteers and professionals within community sport

SMN deliver a wide range of workshops for both volunteers and professionals involved with community sport and physical activity 

We deliver bespoke workshops and keynote presentations, developed in consultation with our client/hosts, so if you have a specific request please get in touch.

We are certain we can help to develop and deliver exactly what you are looking for…whether you are looking for a 20-minute keynote or series of Grow Your Club workshops

Over the years SMN have worked with a wide range of organisations including local authorities, universities, colleges, community sports clubs, governing bodies of sport, community sports, trusts leisure trusts, informal sports providers, community sports enterprises, community groups and other community sports providers and professional associations.

We have run Grow Your Club workshops for more than 4000 community sports clubs across the UK and Denmark.

Why not host your own workshop?
If you are local authority, governing body, sports council or any other sports organisation you should how you can use SMN to help your partners and deliverers to become welcoming, innovative and enterprising. You will notice the workshops in our Grow Your Club and Activity Grower programmes, but we are more than happy to deliver a bespoke workshop suited to your needs.
Our workshops are fun and interactive and packed with inspiring case-studies backed up with templates and action points, so the participants can use the information there and then

Grow Your Club – the UK’s most popular series of enterprise workshops for community sport

Engaging workshops for volunteers and professionals within community sport

Leadership and management of your sports club
How to create a change-friendly culture

More details

Successful leadership and management of the modern sports club require delivery against sporting and social objectives while ensuring the financial sustainability of the organisation. Leaders and managers need a distinct set of skills to thrive in this context where clubs are operating in a competitive and changing environment.

Very few clubs do not have a programme which supports coaches who want to develop new skills. That is not the case with the volunteers who are involved with the actual development and running of the club. Very few clubs actively look at how they can improve their leadership and management and, say, develop more efficient decision making (just look at the time it often takes to make even the simplest decisions in clubs).

Hopefully, this workshop can help you to improve the leadership and management at your club. This is not an exact science and each club and environment is different, so you will have to adapt the advice given here to your specific situation. .


More players at your sports club



More details

 Community sports clubs can play a significant role in people’s lives and provide great football and consumer experiences for all; talented or not, player or parent or casual or dedicated.

In order to attract more players community sports clubs must become more welcoming and focused on the players and their welfare and ensure they are having fun and feel engaged. They must listen to people lives, communicate with them on their terms and in their language and ensure that they are more than just a sports club.

We have been studying best practice across sports clubs across the UK and in many sports and we have found some, often simple, ways to get more people to play sport, in this case, football.

This workshop will give you some thoughts, tools and to-dos on how to attract and retain more players of all ages, shapes and talent .

More volunteers at your club
How to recruit and retain skilled volunteers


More details

 Too many sports clubs are relying on the same people to do too much and are therefore putting too much pressure on too few people. At the same time, very few clubs make any concerted efforts to assess what skills they require and how to make themselves attractive to skilled and dedicated volunteers who can make a real difference. Hence, why the myth ‘you can’t get volunteers these days’ becomes the accepted truism.

But the good news is that we also experience many well-run clubs with a good structure, innovation, communication and motivation in place successfully recruiting and retaining skilled and passionate volunteers.

So, how do you develop a culture which welcomes new people into your club and ensures that everybody feels engaged and involved? This workshop will cover how your club can develop a volunteer-friendly culture and approach that will help you grow and become a place that everyone will want to become involved with..

Generating more income
From fundraising to income generation

More details

The notion that a community sports club is indeed an enterprise which has to attract, serve and retain customers and make a surplus whilst fulfilling its sporting and community objectives is something that many clubs will need help to embrace. Sports clubs must develop a sustainable income model – getting away from the panicky Dash for Cash often running around 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, including generating cash reserves for replacements and developments. The creativity and commercial awareness of a number of community sports clubs who are ensuring their sustainability will be shared.

This workshop will give you plenty of thoughts, tools and to-dos on how you can develop better income generating strategies and initiatives that are right for your club. In your environment, with your skills and contacts and aligned with your mission. It will help you move from a fundraising culture to one of income generation where you provide real benefits that people will pay for and has value to your customers (members, guests, supporters, sponsors)…

Participants will be given dozens and dozens of proven ideas on how to generate income and concrete advice on how to implement the most appropriate ones.

A connected club
Improving your club’s internal communication

More details

 For community football clubs who train and play at several pitches and at varying times, it can often be difficult to develop and maintain a real club spirit and ethos.

If the u-8s coaches rarely engage with their u-11 colleagues and the various age groups use a variety of communications platforms and the Facebook page and website is only updated by a handful of people and there is no club newsletter and so on…yes, then it is almost impossible to develop a real feeling of ‘one club’.

But, we also appreciate that as a volunteer, you have limited time and resource to dedicate to all this communication stuff, however important it may be. The workshop cover how to analyse the current content and channels of your internal communication, which channels to use for what purpose, what content to put on the various platforms and how to streamline the way you manage your internal comms..

A connected club Raising the profile of your club
How to grow your profile across the community

More details

 In a world where competition for people’s attention is intensifying by the minute, community sports clubs have to work harder and smarter to become visible and stay visible. The days of putting up a couple of posters in libraries and leisure centres and thinking ‘job’s done’ are long gone.

Successful clubs do engage and communicate with users, members and other stakeholders using a number of tools, often involving members and their networks, thus reaching much wider audiences at almost no cost. They embrace the changes and work with them and not against them.

This workshop cover how to use social and mobile media to communicate with members, sponsors and supporters. Participants will be introduced to SMN’s unique tool 5COM: Linking up COMmunity, COMmunication, welCOMing, COMfortable, and COMputers which enables them to connect all their promotional activities. They will learn how to develop Partnership Promotions with external non-sport partners from the Police to Housing Associations.

Clubs who attend this workshop will understand how a higher profile will help them to attract more members, volunteers, supporters and sponsors – and also how they can attract more support for their various events and projects by telling the world about the good work they do. .

Your club as a community hub
How your club can grow by becoming a partner with your community


More details

 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. They create Shared Value – a new kind of partnership, in which both the club and the community contribute directly to the strengthening and development of each other.

This workshop will help you to become well connected to your community and find a common purpose between your partners and yourself. You will be given advice on the best ways to work together, benefitting both parties and on how to make it easier to understand each other and benefit from doing so. It will also cover how you can best assess your potential for working with community partners – what are your assets, relationships and skills?

Participants will be introduced to the 12 Steps for Creating Shared Value, which they then can implement straight away.


Running an Open Day and Community Launch
How to run events which will open up your club and bring the community closer

More details

Open Days and Community Launches can be great ways of bringing new people to your club and engaging with the community around you.

An Open Day can be a fantastic opportunity to build relationships with your community, attract new people to your club and provide existing members with another, great experience.

A well-run Community Launch is a great way to showcase your club to partners, funders, stakeholders and others with a wider interest in your club and its work in the community

Both types of events need both planning and creativity if they are to be successful. Unfortunately, we have experienced clubs where little thought went into their Open Days and they end up being boring and not particularly useful.

This workshop will provide you with real-life advice and ideas on how to run vibrant and visible Open Days and Community Launches which will raise the profile of your club and get more people and partners to appreciate the work you are doing.

 SMN deliver a wide range of workshops for both volunteers and professionals involved with community sport and physical activity and below you will find a selection of the topics we cover.

All our keynotes and workshops are delivered personally by Svend Elkjaer, the Founder and Director of the Sports Marketing Network


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