Keeping Sports Clubs Relevant

The Aussies have been struggling a bit with their sport having just been thrashed by and ABs in Rugby and, much more importantly for them, getting whipped by South Africa in the recent Cricket test series. But they are a very proud sporting nation and will certainly come back.

The Aussies spend a lot of time and resources on thinking about sport and how to do things better. We came across a piece of research by Australian Sports Commission which looks into the drivers and barriers to participation in sport.

A lot of the info is applicable to New Zealand. Our society is going through a lot of changes. People have more entertainment options, more sports to choose from and there are more demands on our time like working weekends and of course checking social media! So playing in organised competitions or joining sports clubs is increasingly taking a back seat.

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The research highlights some insights that many local clubs could take on board when thinking about how to attract and retain kids to your club:

• Be flexible; cater to different groups by developing new ways to get people involved.
• Create alternative forms of your game that focus on fun and enjoyment rather than competition.
• Changing the rules might be one way of doing this. Let friends play together if that’s important to them, rather than trying to separate them based on talent.
• Schedule your sport at different times of day and week; more teenagers might get involved on a weeknight than a Sunday morning.

You can check out the research by clicking on the image below:

sports-commission-research

Some good ideas could come from conversations about these points. We think it’s important stuff – we need to keep clubs relevant since they provide a glue for social interaction in many small communities.

Do you have any thoughts about how we could do things differently for your sport?

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