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UK Coaching Team
Organising and Planning

Launching Your Own Club: Advice on Getting Started

All great sports clubs start somewhere. Howard Foster takes a look at a shining example of a rowing club launched in Lincolnshire and considers the advice offered by Sport England

As romantic as the famous quote from baseball movie Field of Dreams is, there is a lot more to starting a new community sports club than simply ‘if you build it, they will come’. But, with a sensible and measured approach, the rewards can be great. You just have to avoid the pitfalls.

Sport England is at the forefront of helping you take the right steps, emphasising that anyone with enough enthusiasm can set up a new club, or a satellite of a bigger club. “You may be a Sport Maker or take regular exercise with a group of friends. You might want to start taking part in regular fixtures and play against other teams or apply for funding," one Sport England spokesman explains.

The first step is an obvious one: know your market! 

A point emphasised by Sport England:

It’s a good idea to research clubs thoroughly in your area to check whether any already exist. You might consider the option to join forces with an existing club and start a new team if there is one out there that does not offer the opportunities for the age group, gender or players at the ability that you are looking to cater for or target.”

All great sporting institutions started somewhere, and when it comes down to it, many began after a social chat. Lincoln Rowing Club is no exception, except that one of the people behind the club had never even rowed before. The man in question is John Dyer, a gas engineer in the historic city of Lincoln. It’s a city with a notable and ancient history, but up until 2006, no rowing club…despite a river just perfect for the sport.

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UK Coaching Team