The sport sector across the UK is committed to maintaining and increasing the number of people from all communities regularly participating in and enjoying the benefits of sport and physical activity. The sector is striving to do things differently, to innovate, to change, to make it more accessible so the sport and physical activity offer meets the needs of everyone in their community of influence.
There is a dedicated army of paid professionals working in our National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs), our Active Partnerships, our local authorities, leisure trusts, national organisations and local community organisations, whose remit it is to respond to national strategies like Uniting a Movement and disrupt the norm. The professional workforce isn’t alone in this quest for more diverse and inclusive participation, to maintain the current offer that many still love and to disrupt the norm to open the doors to new participants, they are reliant on 1000’s and 1000’s of people up and down the country volunteering their time to make sport and physical activity happen.
From coaching to being a board member, from washing the kit to looking after people’s welfare, from posting on social media to convincing a would-be funder or sponsor to part with their money in a cost-of-living crisis – the roles are plentiful, the knowledge and skills required are ever expanding and the demands on people’s time is ever increasing.
So whether you’re part of the professional workforce supporting community clubs, organisations and volunteers to improve, or you’re a volunteer in a sports club or community organisation – you’re going to need some guidance and support to help navigate your legal structures, your marketing plans, your financial sustainability and your desire to become more diverse and inclusive.
And that is where the Sport England funded Club Matters programme can help in supporting and informing the professional workforce and community volunteers, while complementing other offers that our NGB’s or Active Partnerships for example may provide. Club Matters consists of key resources and templates on a variety of topics and themes designed to help people improve the sport and physical activity offer. There is a health check tool for community club and organisation volunteers to self-reflect on where they currently are to help identify areas of strength and areas of weakness to prioritise. For the professional workforce there are dedicated Communities of Practices set up for you to share, learn and gain peer support to help you problem solve some of the challenges your clubs and organisations are facing.
To support the resources, health check tool and communities of practice there is a series of free training and learning opportunities, managed by the Sport Structures team with the aim of providing the professional workforce and community volunteers with the knowledge and skills required to help the sector improve. While there are a core 10 workshops which last about 2 hours and can be delivered by our experienced tutor workforce face to face or virtually, the team are flexible to the needs of the sector and can develop new topics or delivery approaches to ensure Club Matters training and learning is relevant and up to date.
Over 90% of attendees on a Club Matters training and learning opportunity are satisfied with the learning provided so look out for social media posts from Sport Structures, or one of our newsletters promoting the upcoming ‘open’ workshops, or contact the Sport Structures team on email@example.com to organise a Club Matters training and learning opportunity for your sport or geographical area.
So, if you’re an organisation developing your people plans, don’t forget the 1000’s of people that volunteer their time to make sport and physical activity happen, and importantly don’t forget the free support and guidance Club Matters provides to help you and your local volunteers navigate the busy and ever-changing landscape.