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How to start a new sports club with Sport Wales funding?

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Starting a new sports club gives people the opportunity to get fit, improve their mental health and create new friendships. Many clubs have been delivering sport across Wales for more than a century. But they once had to take their first steps.

Want to bring the enjoyment of your favourite sport to other people? Is there a sport you want to introduce to your area? Then start a new club and make a difference in your community.

With funding from The National Lottery via Sport Wales’ Be Active Wales fund, that’s exactly what Scott Esnouf of Rhondda Dragons Dodgeball did. He helped us put together these five important steps about how to start a new sports club.

Have an idea.

For the last five years, the adults of Pontypridd have been dipping, ducking and dodging balls with Rhondda Dragons Dodgeball Club. But the local children could only watch from the sidelines. 

Scott had the idea of introducing a junior section to the club, giving youngsters the opportunity to participate in dodgeball and creating a pathway for them to continue enjoying the sport with the club as adults.

Discover demand.

Does your idea for a new sports club have legs? If the desire for a particular sport in your area is there, then your idea is worth pursuing.

According to our School Sports Survey results, more than 100,000 children in Wales wanted more opportunities to play dodgeball. Rhondda Dragons took advantage of that interest by giving young people a chance to join a community club.

A group of children throwing dodgeballs

Spread the word.

If people don’t know about your new sports club, they won’t come. Spreading the word and promoting your club is an important part of running a new sports team. But it’s not all tweets and TikToks.

Word of mouth and building relationships did the trick for Rhondda Dodgeball. Scott will be the first to admit that numbers were low in the beginning. That was until he reached out to his local authority’s sport development team – Sport RCT

It was their already established relationships that helped get the message to potential dodgeballers. They offered local schools the opportunity to have taster sessions with Scott. Fast forward a few weeks and some of those school pupils are now Rhondda Dragons!

Get funding from Sport Wales

No money, no equipment. No equipment, no dodgeball. But it’s easier than you think to get funding for your new sports club, thanks to the National Lottery. 

Through their funding, Sport Wales can help you set up a new club with the Be Active Wales Fund. Rhondda Dragons Dodgeball were awarded £770 to help establish their new junior section.

As a new club, they were eligible for funding to pay for ten weeks’ worth of sports hall hire at Hawthorn Leisure Centre, while they also used their grant to buy new equipment and to pay for coaching courses to upskill their volunteers.

Grow your numbers

Don’t just settle for the numbers you have! Your new sports club can continue to grow and make a difference to even more people.

The taster sessions in schools allowed the Dragons to grow their numbers quickly. But now their newest dodgers and divers enjoy it so much, they bring their friends along to join them on the attack line too. So, encourage your members to spread the word and keep on growing!

Thanks to players of The National Lottery, more than £30 million a week goes to good causes around the UK through initiatives such as Sport Wales’ Be Active Wales Fund. 

If you want to start a new sports club, like Rhondda Dragons Dodgeball Club or Merthyr Mustangs Basketball Club, then follow this advice and make sure you check out the Be Active Wales Fund

Who knows? Your sports club could be making a difference in the community for the next 100 years.


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