Club Insight

We are keen to know as much as possible about sports clubs in England.

We have recently commissioned a number of pieces of research to continue to improve our understanding of voluntary sector sports clubs, their activities, participants, organisational challenges and their plans and aspirations for the future.

Club Count

In December 2017, Sheffield Hallam University completed the 2017 Club Count.

This study counts the number of clubs affiliated to 95 National Governing Bodies, covering 85 sports in England.

It gives a picture, not just of which sports have the most clubs but how they are spread geographically and some of challenges this poses for developing participation and reaching particular audiences.

Sport & Recreation Alliance Sports Club Survey 2017

The 2017 Club Survey was completed by the Sport & Recreation Alliance. It was distributed to voluntary sector clubs across England and builds on previous surveys in 2009, 2011, 2013. The survey covers a range of topics including:

  • Club activities and set up
  • Members and participants
  • A club’s people, including the type of people working with and providing support to the Club.
  • A club’s involvement with the local community
  • Finance, funding opportunities and support
  • Expectations, aspirations and plans for the future

The findings of the survey will help Sport England shape its club support resources such as Club Matters and engagement of stakeholders and partners in this area of work.

Club Volunteering Executive Summary

In October 2018 our Active Lives Adult Survey reported that a total of 6.3 million adults had given their time at least twice over the last year to make sport or physical activity happen. This is a huge contribution, with people giving their time in a range of different ways, from coaching and committee roles to providing transport and marshalling events.

Approximately 75% of these people volunteer in a local sports club (ref: Taylor 2003). It is therefore a key setting for our volunteering strategy and it is important that we supports clubs to ensure that their volunteers are having a positive experience, feel valued and want to continue giving their time.

To increase our understanding of the current challenges and opportunities sports clubs face in relation to engaging and retaining volunteers, in 2018 we commissioned the Sport Industry Research Centre to conduct a Sports Club Volunteering Survey, collecting data from key volunteers who run sports clubs.

The executive summary and the full report can be viewed below and include detailed insight and the key recommendations to come out of the research, including the skills and experiences required by clubs, capacity and capability gaps, as well as challenges and methods to growing and retaining volunteers.