Do sports clubs do enough ?

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Do sports clubs do enough ?

Postby jonathon.e » 28 Jun 2018 08:22

Do sports clubs do enough, or is it just me ?
Over the years there have been numerous campaigns to encourage sport in society in the U.K.,
This girl can
Sport for all
Sky ride
GoTri

To name but a few.
All these campaigns, if you can call them that, encourage individuals to join a club. By joining a club you are told that you can get more out of the sport, the clubs are meant to encourage and be all inclusive, but are they really missing out on their target audience.
By target audience I am suggesting that the individuals who most need the encouragement are the ones that are less likely to be ' socially inclusive '. The individuals who are most self conscious, the ones that are 'body aware', the ones that are most likely to feel embarrassed if they mess up, or feel stupid when the do something wrong, even when the ones around them don't mind.
How many clubs actually check the members attendance to club activities, with paid up subscriptions ?
Does the Welfare officer, or Secretary contact the individuals to enquire about them, and ask what they can do for them to get them active. Even pair them up with partners to train with, so that they can feel more involved, learn the sport without being made to feel that the spotlight is on them. Or are they just happy to take the subscriptions and not bother about the members unless they are their friends ?
I just personally feel that in this day and age when you can't turn a page over in a paper without reading about Mental wellbeing that the club and societies that should be improving it, are not doing enough.
Based on my own experiences, I have been a paid up member over the years of five tri clubs, and one athletic club. Discounting the BCTTT, as it is more akin to a social meeting than an all out sports club, not one has bothered to chase up my none appearance at club meetings, races, rides etc. If I have attended, the term, cliquey, would be an understatement, yes, I have tried to make an effort, marshalling at races, saying hi to other team members, even learning their names, but still end up feeling isolated.

Am I on my own in thinking this ?
Or, do other clubs actively chase up their membership!
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Re: Do sports clubs do enough ?

Postby Jack Hughes » 28 Jun 2018 08:39

Well, I'm glad you discounted the BCTTT :D
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Re: Do sports clubs do enough ?

Postby Jack Hughes » 28 Jun 2018 09:06

Clubs are highly organised communities - people need to have defined roles, perform specific duties etc. etc.

As much as any business. Except businesses have the glue of actually making money.... some people go to work for fun, but a lot go as often as they do because they get paid.


Clubs require a lot of individuals to devote a lot of time and effort. Older people tend to have this. Younger sports (e.g. triathlon) tend not to. Parents tend to put efforts in for their children, so kids sports do a bit better.


Triathlon has wider issues - it's a sport put on by private orgs, aimed at making money. Vast prices are only supportable by bucket list competitors - do one for a challenge, then walk away. There are never team prizes - e.g. total time of first three club members, etc. etc. So there is zero advantage of being in a club, when it comes to performance. There are no leagues.

The fundamental purpose of a club is obtaining discounts (e.g. BTF membership, shops), or for gaining access to scarce resource - open water swimming venues etc. etc. There's not really a tradition of putting on events, or a need to develop athletes (why bother, if there is no team competition).


Let's contrast with cycling time trials. It's very club/team focused. You can only enter if you are in a club/team. Events are only promoted by club/teams, so there's a realisation that you have to promote in order to have the events. There are team prizes. Although the new ranking system for this year doesn't seem to have a club dimension. However, it's not really a youth sport, so there isn't much focus on coaching etc. Although there is an increasing tendency for teams to coalesce around coaches. As TT is very niche, there's also an increasing tendency for teams - groups of individual who just want to do TTs to dominate, rather than traditional clubs (all aspects of cycling).

Looking at other sports, clubs tend to form around facilities - i.e. you need a club to maintain/gain access to a sports ground/pitch/pool etc. So your typical club tends to have a pitch, a club house, which can then sell beer etc. after the event. 50% of the events take place at that club, so it's frequently used. Everything else hangs off this central premise. Then the sport requires a team - especially for team games.

Anyway, clubs are hard to do. There needs to be an incentive in the way a sport is structured to help clubs. So clubs only exist where there is a primary need - i.e. you can't do it with out a club, this is either a shared resource, or needing to be in a club to enter.
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Re: Do sports clubs do enough ?

Postby Jack Hughes » 28 Jun 2018 09:09

So, clubs do exactly what they need to do, no more, no less.

Talent development is a bit of a myth.

Take British Cycling - once there was a need, and funding, to develop talent, they developed their own talent programmes - i.e. going to schools and spotting people with athletic potential, and definitely not using clubs as a feeder system.

The crisis in football seems to be wanting to do a similar thing - i.e. develop a parallel talent development system, independent of and not relying on clubs.
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Re: Do sports clubs do enough ?

Postby Kevy427 » 29 Jun 2018 17:12

When I had the (mis)fortune to be plying my trade within the confines of a gymnasium, chasing people to join and part with their hard-earned monies was the primary goal of the 'Membership Team'. Not once do I remember any sort of activity which didn't involve getting people through the doors to sign up

Cliquey is one word which could be applied to the local Down South Velo ignorant twats, sorry, cycle club. I went out for a couple of rides with them a number of years ago, and aside from starting their rides at some socially unacceptable time of 0930, despite making the effort to converse it was very much a similar experience to Jon's with being ignored with no-one interested in making the new riders welcome. They're a bunch of ignorant twats anyway and every other cycle club (or non-SDV member) down here seem to dislike them whether it be for their ignorance towards other riders or drivers. Ignorant twats
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Re: Do sports clubs do enough ?

Postby jonathon.e » 29 Jun 2018 19:15

Kevy427 wrote:When I had the (mis)fortune to be plying my trade within the confines of a gymnasium, chasing people to join and part with their hard-earned monies was the primary goal of the 'Membership Team'. Not once do I remember any sort of activity which didn't involve getting people through the doors to sign up

Cliquey is one word which could be applied to the local Down South Velo ignorant twats, sorry, cycle club. I went out for a couple of rides with them a number of years ago, and aside from starting their rides at some socially unacceptable time of 0930, despite making the effort to converse it was very much a similar experience to Jon's with being ignored with no-one interested in making the new riders welcome. They're a bunch of ignorant twats anyway and every other cycle club (or non-SDV member) down here seem to dislike them whether it be for their ignorance towards other riders or drivers. Ignorant twats


Eloquently put Kev :lol:

My local gym is much the same, use it for the facilities, not for the staff who spend their time with their 'personal clients' ( and friends ), not once in twenty years has a gym staff member asked ' what am I hoping to achieve ', 'or what my goals are', I am quite happy being Billy no mates, but, they just want the money. Even with a change of ownership four times, it hasn't changed.

Maybe you, Bopo, and Tritans could give those velo twats a lesson in etiquette and throw liquorice alsorts at them as you steam past.
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Re: Do sports clubs do enough ?

Postby Kevy427 » 30 Jun 2018 10:31

jonathon.e wrote:My local gym is much the same, use it for the facilities, not for the staff who spend their time with their 'personal clients' ( and friends ), not once in twenty years has a gym staff member asked ' what am I hoping to achieve ', 'or what my goals are', I am quite happy being Billy no mates, but, they just want the money. Even with a change of ownership four times, it hasn't changed

It's also an environment which has quite a high staff churn so that doesn't help matters. Maybe they've seen the GJATC on the wireless with pictures and are respecting your privacy? ;)

jonathon.e wrote:Maybe you, Bopo, and Tritans could give those velo twats a lesson in etiquette and throw liquorice alsorts at them as you steam past

:lol:
I think Ade would be throwing more than liquorice Allsorts at them
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Re: Do sports clubs do enough ?

Postby didds » 14 Jan 2019 16:54

all I can say is pretty much what others have said...

community clubs are totally reliant on volunteers. Then you get the quality of the volunteers that volunteer.

So if there aren't sufficient volunteers then some aspects don't happen. If your volunteers aren't frankly very good and/or interested in improving what they can offer, then you have what you have.

Ive been involved in coaching rugby for 18+ years, at club, county, regional levels both male and female, children, youth and adults. I've been a RFU developer and a club coaching coordinator. I've been involved with a global coaching ezine. In that time I've seen rubbish coaches at levels that are surprising, and brilliant coaches at the levels that most people ignore and do not consider important or valid. I've run coaching courses and promoted them. And what I came to the conclusion is on the whole the coaches that gave most to the players were those that played the game for a long time and wanted to improve themselves. That may seem obvious - but it was the stark reality of it. Those that thought they knew it all, or couldn't be arsed to seek new ideas and approaches did a reasonable enough job in that they kept players in the game on the whole before they could move on to seniors etc. Those that helped 'cos their kids were in that age group did a great job of keeping stuff together but reached a stage in early youth whereby their knowledge and understanding were now lacking (and they would confess so to be fair to them again). The squads that developed best were those that had coaches that had played until reasonably recently and wanted to improve themselves. That may seem obvious but I've seen it over and over again.

Then you have the issues surrounding numbers - its a ratio really of players versus volunteers. Got a squad of 25 - great. two coaches? especially if one or both are struggling with what they are doing... and bang goes the opportunity to expand and develop and fully include, because now its a case of herding chickens and getting through this week. Got a new kid turn up aged 14, never played before, never tackled... where does the time come to give that player the input they need that all the others have had for years? There just isn't any typically. I've even seen it at seniors - one head coach, 20 players at training and a new bloke that hasn't played for ten years. No chance to help him cos there isn't enough time or resource.

As CCC I gave up asking age group coaches for their generalised yearly "plans". I was constantly asked for training plans - what they were asking was week by week plans ... I never had the time to do that. I did provide (with the help of another coach - he was excellent - a framework to work to from year to year etc. I doubt anybody ever used it). I promoted CPD and award courses ie training... its was soon clear coaches only did the barest necessary to keep coaching, for whatever reasons.

As a club we had polices and people in positions to encompass everything JE asked in his first post in this thread. But the realities were for what we had and where we were etc etc it just wasn't ever going to be anything than it was, other than doing our best to offer the chances to be as good as we could be in these areas.

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