Top Tips For Running a Sports Club

Joining a sports club at university is a pretty simple concept; but running a club is far from easy. Here Volleyball Chairman, Beth Gunter provides a few top tips for any sports members wanting to take the reins of their club in September.

As the second half of the season continues, clubs are not only fighting for promotion and battling relegation, but are saying their farewells to their graduate players. To be a successful club, there must be communication between the club and UELSports, effective representation of the club in weekly BUCS fixtures, and for clubs to be inclusive for all members.

Creating a new committee

Each committee should have three main roles: chairman, secretary and treasurer. It is down to the old committees to train their replacements into how the club runs. The chairman is responsible for the club and all its members, and is actively involved in helping to develop and maintain the club. They are the first point of contact for UELSports. A club secretary maintains memberships, and helps to manage the club e-mail account. The treasurer assists in payments and fundraising, and looking after the income and outcome of the club account.

Advertising your club

No-one will know about what your club offers unless you promote it. At Freshers Week the best way to do this is through flyers. This advertises training times and venues, and has links to your club’s social media. Twitter is a great way to get information out quickly, so be sure to tag in opposing teams and UELSports to get more retweets, so more people can see what you’re doing. It’s a good idea to create Facebook events for big home matches, and attempt to have a promotion to get people down to the game, i.e. free drink vouchers.

Engaging beginners

It is important to realise your club is not just for performance levels, but it’s about getting everyone involved! UELSports offers a unique programme called MyUEL Sports. These are weekly sessions run by club members, to attract beginners to your sport. The sessions are completely free and it is a great way to expand your club and get everyone involved, even if they have never played before. It’s also a great way to talent spot new players for your team.

Maintaining excellence

While participation is key, so is keeping up performance levels. Each club has their set training times for teams to practise before their matches. It is down to the secretary to help maintain attendance at these sessions, and if people don’t train they probably won’t play. There are also team S&C sessions available; again the secretary can sort out of rota of who can attend when, due to limited spacing.

Communicate with the office

If the office doesn’t know about all the great things your club is doing, they can’t help you! UEL Sports is more than happy to help promote socials, and big matches or competitions. The office is also the place to go for kit, referee money, equipment issues, and they are the first point of contact for the club. If a committee invests time into them, the office will reciprocate to help you be more successful.

Make a club development plan

While managing a club is great, there needs to be a sense of purpose, and drive. A club development plan sets targets for where you want your club to be by the end of the year, how you will reach them, and who will be responsible for making sure they are achieved. Make sure to make your targets achievable so you can measure your success at the end of the year.

Get involved with other clubs

All the sports clubs at UEL are great for supporting each other and coming together. Planning with another team is a good way at attracting more support to your match: your club goes to support them, and they return the favour. This also works for social events at the Underground bar. Some of the smaller teams may need extra players to stand in every so often, so players from other teams can jump in to help. Even if you have limited knowledge of the sport they always appreciate the extra people!

Have fun!

One of the most important things with running any club – make it fun! No one will want to join your club or be involved if they don’t make it fun. Try making people feel welcome during Freshers week by holding a social event after the club trials or training sessions. Not everything has to be based around training or sport.

While taking over a sports club may seem like an overwhelming task, when you follow these simple steps it becomes a little easier to handle.