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Frequently Asked Questions

What is your question about?

Club ManagementChild ProtectionDisability SportFacilitiesSchool Club Links

I would like to set up a new sports club, how do I go about it?
Clubs are usually initiated by a relatively small number of people who share a common interest and when a formal club structure will be beneficial to them all. When there is early enthusiasm to establish a club, it is important to capitalise on this and move things forward quickly.

There are three important things that need to be thought about:

  • Are there enough potential members?
  • Are there enough volunteers to run the club?
  • Is there another club in the local area that is already meeting the needs of the sport locally?

Once there is a general agreement to set up a club, a formal meeting will need to be called. During this meeting there will be a number of things that need to be decided and agreed on. It is often worth doing some preliminary work before the meeting, so that decisions can be made at the outset.

More information at www.runningsports.org

What is the appropriate insurance for my club?
Sports clubs and organisations, as well as expedition leaders and schools, must ensure that adequate insurance arrangements are in place, this is especially so in view of the increase in litigation. This applies to all those taking part in sport and recreation as administrative officials, coaches or participants themselves, having a duty of care and responsibility to ensure that anything they do does not cause injury or financial loss to others, or damage to property. If they do cause such damage, and 'negligence' can be proven, they become legally liable to pay compensation.

Insurance policies are legal documents, and it is best for organisations to use a firm that specialises in sports insurance. In the first instance contact your relevant Governing Body of Sport who may have their own scheme.

Organisations should be able to show evidence of having thought through an event or activity and, where appropriate, have made a risk assessment.

Visit the Sport England website for a list of Governing Bodies of Sport

How can I promote my club or event?
When promoting your club or event it is important to know who your target groups are. What works for one group may not work for another. It may help you to build partnerships with non-sporting organisations or to find different communication methods. Plan carefully as you may be targeting groups who either do not usually play sport or perceive barriers to their participation.

Identify and understand the product or service you are offering. What are the particular benefits and attractions of your club?

  • Do you provide friendship and social opportunities?
  • Do you offer coaching and a chance to improve standards?
  • Are you an accredited Clubmark Club?
  • Do you provide opportunities for all?
  • Do you have attractive facilities?
  • Can you provide high-level competition?
  • Are you conveniently located?

You will need to decide what promotional methods you will use to reach your target groups. Advertising could include: notice boards, posters, free t-shirts, newsletter, website and local press. Social events could include coffee mornings, taster sessions or open promotional days.

It will also be important to link with Sport Hampshire & IOW, Governing Bodies of Sport and Local Authority Sports Development Officer to see what help and advice they can provide you. They may be able to assist with promotion through their own publications or websites. If the club has achieved Clubmark it is likely that these organisations will actively recommend people to join your club.

How do I become affiliated to my Governing Body of Sport?
Find out who your relevant sport's Governing Body is and request a form to become affiliated. You will need to ensure that you are correctly established with a constitution, committee etc.

Visit the Sport England website for a list of Governing Bodies of Sport

What should my club constitution include?
A constitution will include the name of your club, the aims of the club, membership information including fees, the officers of the club, committee information, finances, Annual General Meetings and what happens on dissolution of the club. The constitution will set the clubs direction by identifying key members who form the committee and gives certain rules as to how the club will be run. A guide to writing your constitution as well as other useful resources are available on the Club Matters website.

It is advisable to seek advice from your Local Authority Sports Development Officer, County Sport Partnership, Club Development Officer and/or Governing Body of Sport Development Officer.

Further support is available via the Club Matters website.

How do I get CRB checks for my club volunteers?
Initial enquiries will need to be made through your relevant Governing Body of Sport.

Any screening procedures established by the sports club should be used consistently for all volunteers who might now, or in the future, have unsupervised, isolated or regular one-to-one contact with young and vulnerable people. Existing volunteers can be asked to provide the same information as new, potential volunteers.

There are three levels of CRB checks – enhanced, standard and basic. The club will need enough information in order to receive a minimum of a standard disclosure from the CRB. A disclosure form and additional guidance on the current requirements as well as what to include can be obtained from the Criminal Records Bureau - www.crb.gov.uk.

You will need to submit the relevant information to the CRB for checking.  In the case of sports clubs make the application through your Governing Body who will be registered with the CRB. There is no cost for screening volunteers with the CRB, but some Governing Bodies may charge a small amount for administration of the application.

Sport Hampshire & IOW have created a set of downloadable leaflets on Child Protection.

I would like to set up a Disability section at my club, how do I go about it?
You will need to find out if there is demand for the section, and you might decide to focus on particular disabilities – for example: learning disabilities, wheelchair sport, blind sport etc.

Ensure that people within the club (coaches and volunteers) have been trained to work with or coach people with disabilities. Peter Hull, Disability Sports Development Officer for Hampshire andthe Isle of Wight will be able to suggest suitable courses, or alternatively contact your specific Governing Body of Sport.

Our club has been approached by a person with a disability about joining. What is the best way to integrate them into the club?
Ask the new member if there is anything that would help them integrate more smoothly into the club, and provide it where possible. Initially a “buddy” might help integration – as with any new member. In addition, take advice from your specific Governing Body on any adaptations they might suggest – some governing bodies have a national officer dealing specifically with disability issues.  The charity, Parent Voice is a network of parents and carers of children with disabilities in Hampshire and may also be able to provide support and advice.

What is the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)?
The Disability Act 1995 introduced new laws aimed at giving disabled people new rights of access to goods, facilities and services, as well as in employment and buying or renting property. It is important that clubs take these provisions into account.

One of the principle themes of the Act is the need for organisations to make 'reasonable adjustments' to overcome barriers which disabled people may encounter in accessing facilities or services. Examples of the ways in which reasonable adjustments can be made include:

  • Talking and consulting with disabled people
  • Establishing how accessible the club facilities are to disabled people
  • Considering how the club currently promote its activities
  • Increasing the knowledge of key club officials, volunteers and coaches
  • Ensuring Club Policies reflect an inclusive approach

For more detailed guidance on making your club more inclusive and how to ensure you comly with relevant laws and regulations, see the EFDS (English Federation of Disability Sport) website

Our current facilities are not suitable, what should we do?
It is not easy to build a new facility and it may be better to look at local facility provision to see if there is anything else suitable in the local area. Contact your local authority Sports Development Officer to discuss alternative facilities. Alternatively, take a look at www.activeplaces.com to search for sports facilities in your local area.

If it is a new facility you are building, Sport England has produced a range of guidance notes detailing technical advice and standards for the design and development of sports facilities. This guidance should be used if you are considering a sports facility project and particularly if you are seeking to apply for lottery funding.  In addition, consult your Governing Body of Sport about the technical specifications and strategic need for any new facility. The Local Authority will also need to be consulted to establish if local strategies and plans can back up the need for a new facility.

A school-club link could be defined as an agreement between a school and a community based sports club to work together to meet the needs of young people, providing them with new and varied opportunities and help them to realise their ambitions.
In order to create a school-club link you should take the following steps:

  1. Plan what your club can offer local schools - this can range from providing a point of contact at the club and flyers promoting the club, running taster sessions at the club through to providing after school coaching and leadership/teacher training.
  2. Contact the schools you would like to make a link with – make sure you give the schools a brief outline of the club and what you can offer them.
  3. Meet with each school to agree outcomes of the link and put together a agreement which outlines what both the club and school will provide. Most National Governing Bodies have resources and templates available to help clubs write school club link agreements.
  4. Set a date to review the agreement to make sure both parties are happy.

If you have trouble contacting your local schools please get in contact with your local authority Sports Development Officer who will be able to help.


Harry Stow
Sports Development Officer (Performance)
01962 676378

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