Sports clubs are great places for kids to find new friends and stay active. Hopefully, the school your children go to will have a host of clubs for them to join. However, the variety of sports clubs can vary from school to school. Your children might not find any that they like – and there could be a lot of kids from the school that want to do a specific sport but the school doesn’t have a club for it.
Moreover, school sports clubs also have a few drawbacks. For one, they usually only happen after school, once or twice a week. Any actual matches or games that are organised between schools will take place during school hours, not at weekends. So, a lot of kids and parents don’t always see them as the most convenient way of letting their kids engage in sporting activities. Instead, you look for other clubs that are set up throughout your local area.
Again, this can throw up a range of different issues. Firstly, you might struggle to find any decently run clubs in your local area. Secondly, there might not be any for a specific sport your child is interested in. Or, similarly, there could be things like football or rugby clubs for boys, but none for girls. All in all, it leads to a situation where you consider creating a club for your kids and other kids in the local area.
So, how do you go about doing this?
Registering your club
The good news is that you don’t need to legally register your club with any government organisation. Well, this is the case if you provide coaching for children in no more than two of the following activities:
- School study support
- Performing arts
- Arts & crafts
- Religious, cultural or language study
Naturally, as you’re setting up a sports club for kids, you will only provide coaching in that particular sport. Consequently, you fall under a government exemption which means you don’t have to register with Ofsted. This is genuinely very beneficial for you as it makes the process of setting up a club so much easier. No registrations are required; you simply think of a name for your club, choose what sport you focus on, and you’re pretty much an official club already.
However, you will need to register your club with a local governing body for the specific sport. We’ll use football and rugby clubs as examples throughout this post, just because they’re the most common and easiest to use. In the case of football clubs, you will need to find your local county leagues and register with one of them. You may even have to affiliate your club with a County Football Association, though it depends on the age of the kids in the club. The best thing to do is look at any leagues in your area and contact them via their websites. Here, someone will tell you everything you need to do to make your club part of the league, letting you play matches. There will be costs for registering, which is why most sports clubs will have fees they charge the kids to be part of it. No, it’s not ideal as you wish everything could be for free, but it happens across all sports at all ages.
Again, technically speaking, you don’t need any qualifications to run a sports club. This means anyone can start one, though you might want to consider getting some relevant qualifications if you’re interested. For instance, if you want to set up a football club, you might find it useful to see the football coaching qualifications that are recommended by the FA. To reiterate, you do not need them at all, it’s just a little extra thing you could get if you wanted to take things seriously.
Generally, if your club is for young kids in primary school, there’s really no need to have any coaching qualifications at all. As kids venture into secondary school, recreational sports get a bit more serious and you may consider doing some training courses to brush up on your coaching knowledge. But, it’s entirely up to you!
Generally, the staff at your club will all be volunteers. This isn’t a business – you’re not trying to make money. It’s just a casual little club for kids to come along and play a specific sport. Still, you may need help running it, which is why you’ll need a manager, treasurer and possibly a secretary. Sometimes, you’re able to handle everything yourself. You can manage the team, deal with the money and take care of the admin side of things.
If you’re struggling, consider asking other parents if they’d like to help you out. Someone could coach the team, leaving you to worry more about the finances and admin side of the club. Seeing as you’re not registered with Ofsted, you don’t have to worry about things like staff to kids ratios either.
As well as staff, your club needs members! This is where you need to start advertising your new club and getting the word out there. You can hand out flyers in the school playground to parents, or put posters up in school noticeboards. Finding Facebook pages for your local community is also another great way to generate interest and let people know your new club is starting soon.
It should help you get a long list of kids that are interested to join your new club, helping you set the foundations of a team that can last for years.
Creating your club
Of course, you need to actually create your club! What will your club be called? What will your team logo look like? What colours will you play in? All of these things need to be considered, and it’s a fun idea to find people to join your club before you do this. As a result, you can collect feedback from kids and parents on what the side should be called, what your logo should look like, etc.
This is genuinely the best part of setting up a sports club as you get to design everything! It’s really fun going out and finding a sports organisation custom product for you to alter and make your own. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have a lovely club crest, a wonderful name, and some beautiful kits for the kids to wear.
Finding potential sponsors
Naturally, you need money to pay for all the kits and equipment your club requires. Again, using the football and rugby club examples, you will need to have lots of balls, training cones and loads of other stuff to coach the kids. You can add to the player fees to help cover these costs, but it’s a good idea to look for local sponsors.
Local businesses often sponsor local clubs, meaning they will pay for your kits – but you have to put their logo on it. It’s a small compromise when you consider that you get it all for free. Just be sure you choose your sponsor wisely and don’t pick a local business that’s often in the news for bad reasons!
Just like that, you’ve taken care of all the key elements of setting up a sports club for your kids. It is important to test the waters and see if there’s a need for your club before you set all of this in motion. For example, if lots of parents are complaining about a lack of sports clubs in your area, you know there will be a demand for this new one.