Knowing your club and its community (sports equity)
This section suggests ways of promoting the right culture in your club so that its policies, practices and ethos encourage all members to adopt an inclusive, child-friendly approach to sport.
Being an accessible club
It is important in sport, as elsewhere, that everyone has equal status and opportunities. Being accessible is about making opportunities available (as players, performers, administrators, officials or coaches) to all members of the community.
Clubmark clubs are committed to ensuring that they are accessible to the local community, taking into account their local circumstances. Clubs that are representative of their local community tend to be more sustainable.
The importance of clubs in promoting sports equity and equal opportunities cannot be underestimated.
Sport England's definition of sports equity is "Sports equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It is about changing the culture and structure of sport to ensure it becomes equally accessible to everyone in society."
Revised Clubmark criteria for this aspect was introduced in 2010 to help clubs take practical and relevant steps to be more accessible and to enable clubs to recruit and retain members from all sections of the community.
In order to meet Clubmark criteria for equity clubs must:
- Adopt an equal opportunities/sports equity policy (Template 9).
- Have an action plan identifying how it will recruit and retain members from its community (Template 10).
As of the 1st October 2011, the Clubmark criteria does not insist on attendance at the Sportscoach UK 'Equity in your coaching' workshop. In order to encourage a positive approach to the issue of equity within the club environment, the club can still send people on a variety of courses (for example A Club for All delivered by runningsports) to support personal and club development. Some NGBs and CSPs still require you to do this so it is essential that you check with your licensing organisation.
When devising an Equity Action Plan there are a number of websites that can help to inform you of where your club is situated and potential opportunities for increasing participation from your local community. Some of these include:
Location and overall population of your community
For further information of where your club is situated go to:
On the right hand side of the page is NEIGHBOURHOOD SUMMARY - type in the postcode of your club and you will be informed as to the level of deprivation by Super output area.
Use the PEOPLE tab on the top line and you should be able to compare your club membership with your local population. This is not an exact science but designed to support you to increase membership across the membership categories.
In trying to attract young people into your club it's worth contacting schools in your area. You are more likely to be accepted by the school if you have already gained Clubmark accreditation.
To find out the names of secondary schools within the catchment area of your club you can contact your local education authority or go to:
To find out the names of primary schools within the catchment area of your club you can contact your local education authority or go to:
Alternatively you can get the information from: http://schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/. By typing in your postcode you can get the name of every school within 10km of your club. Most of you will know of other clubs (of the same sport) in your area. This may well affect the size of the catchment area of your club.
Similar clubs in your community from your sport
If you are not aware of other clubs (of the same sport) in your area, you can find details from the Clubmark database of accredited and working towards clubs.
Constitution and codes of practice
To further help you know your club and its community, you should also have a constitution to clarify the Club's functions, membership procedures, meeting cycles, committees and so on.
Your club should also have simple codes of practice for parents, carers, coaches and junior members to provide guidance on acceptable behaviour and fair play.
Clubs should firstly seek to identify whether their NGB has best practice templates and examples of club constitution and codes of conduct/practice which can be adopted and are appropriate to their needs. Where NGBs cannot offer such support, example templates can be found in the Resources section of this website.
"The EFDS strongly supports the culture change that Clubmark is driving through our community sports clubs. I believe this move towards practical action at a local level will lead to more clubs being truly accessible to all disabled people, accommodating their practical needs but more importantly encouraging involvement from everyone... Colin Chaytor, Chief Executive of the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS)."
Visit the FAQ section of the website to get your questions answered.