What is Club Development?

Sports clubs can develop in many different ways.

How each club should develop or what area’s they should prioritise is very much down to the club, their current position and their aspirations for the future.

However it is important that clubs ensure that they have measures relating to minimum standards of operation in place such as governing body affiliation and appropriate insurance.

Some of the areas in which clubs can develop are:

  • Membership
  • Volunteer management and development
  • Finance and funding
  • Athlete development environment
  • Business skills
  • Communication
  • Start-up
  • Planning for development
  • Playing and competition programme
  • Club sustainability
  • Marketing and profile
  • Quality coaches and coaching
  • Establishing needs
  • Facilities
  • Management and administration
  • Core operating procedures
  • Equipment
  • Club accreditation
  • Affiliation
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Community outreach
  • Safeguarding and vetting

To get started with your club’s development, the best point can often be to reflect on the current development position of your club.

Consider the current strengths and weakness of your clubs operation and any particular threats or opportunities facing your club. This can help you to from an action plan to provide a step by step guide for how you plan to develop your club. In this process it is often useful to get a wide range of people from your club to input to make sure all sections of the club are ‘bought in’.  An Action Plan Template is available to help you with this process.

Starting a New Club

The first question to ask yourself when starting a new club is “is there a need for a new club”? Consider if there is already another local club meeting the community needs in your sport.

If there is a need for a new club in the area, then consider the following:

  • Are there enough potential members to join a new club?
  • Are there enough volunteers to develop and operate a new club?

If, after considering these key questions, there is a consensus to establish a new club it is important to get the basics building blocks in place. These include:

  • Name your club
  • Create and adopt a Club Constitution (Download template)
  • Elect club officials and a committee
  • Open a club bank account
  • Put in place a Club Equity Policy Statement (Download template)
  • Obtain adequate insurance for all of the clubs activities
  • Affiliate to the appropriate Governing Body of Sport
  • Secure a facility to training and/or compete
  • Make contact with your governing body and/or local authority sports development unit to enquire as to what support may be available to assist in the development of your club