The Clubmark Charter
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Clubmark helps clubs to achieve their own aims and ambitions and to support the complementary objectives and targets of partners in local authorities, schools/school sport partnerships and other community agencies.
Licensed NGBs and CSPs incentivise clubs to get accredited in a variety of ways. For instance, England Basketball offers monetary rewards and the Lawn Tennis Association prioritises funding for facility grants and programme funding.
In addition, more and more local authorities and other leisure operators recognise Clubmark clubs, offering discounted facility hire and priority bookings slots as well as assembling bespoke benefits packages incorporating free or reduced cost access to courses.
We have designed a new Clubmark Charter to encourage all local authorities, SSPs, schools and other agencies to define and embed their support for Clubmark. This clear, simple template document provides a range of typical benefits that will be adopted and supplemented with additional elements as required.
We are keen to drive national adoption of policies and practical implementation measures such as those listed in the new Clubmark Charter to reward the 10,000 clubs that are currently accredited or working towards Clubmark. But more importantly we hope it will inspire many other clubs to achieve the national quality stamp of approval.
Why adopt this Charter?
Recognising and rewarding Clubmark clubs provides tangible benefits to the clubs. However, adoption of the Clubmark Charter as policy also benefits partners:
- Grow: Research suggests that Clubmark clubs are better equipped to drive and manage increased levels of participation; particularly, but not solely, for young people.
- Meeting targets: Having Clubmark clubs to work with will assist local authorities and SSPs to achieve targets for youth participation, the 5 hour offer and school-club links.
- Parental confidence: Being seen to actively address issues such as equity and child protection gives parents confidence when considering or choosing a club for their children - thus helping to boost introductory participation.
- Sustaining participation levels: Clubmark stimulates innovation and improvements to how clubs cater for junior (and all) members. The culture it promotes boosts the morale of players and ensures that volunteers are recognised for their contribution.
- Continuous improvement: Accreditation encourages clubs to adopt better, more organised systems and structures, helping them to run more effectively and efficiently.
Coaches and coaching: Research suggests Clubmark clubs both deploy more, and work harder to develop the skills of, coaches. This leads to better quality provision and improved player performance.
- School-club links: Increasingly, schools are seeking guarantees of quality and the presence of child-friendly systems and procedures. Clubmark clubs are the first invited to work with local school sport partnerships and individual schools. Teachers and schools staff are actively encouraged to signpost pupils to them.
A number of local authorities, some working in partnership with their leisure DSOs, contractors or trusts already offer discounted facility hire and priority bookings to Clubmark clubs. Others have assembled benefits packages incorporating free or reduced cost access to runningsports and coaching courses. For example:
- Sport Hampshire & IOW piloted a benefits package to incentivise clubs in the region to achieve Clubmark; working in partnership with local and national organisations to offer promotions and discounts off club essentials such as sports kit, sports massage and physiotherapy and the hire of facilities. One of the key contributors to the scheme was DC Leisure, offering 5-10% discount off venue hire for badminton, swimming and gymnastics Clubmark clubs in the region.
- Northamptonshire County Council offers 50% discount on facility hire at school facilities in Northampton. Clubs are also automatically signed up to its Sporting Volunteers Scheme to help recruit more volunteers. It also has an annual draw for accredited clubs and provides promotional assistance.
- Sport Trafford offers a package to clubs that are Clubmark accredited or working towards, including 100% rate relief, access to preferential bookings and rates, raised profile in communications and one to one Club development support.
Bernie Jones, Chief Executive of Trafford Community Leisure Trust believes that clubs are the very heart of community sport and by working with the clubs to achieve Clubmark it can ensure that the residents of Trafford get the best possible opportunities to take part in quality sport.
The Trust firmly believes that by working in true partnership with the quality clubs then everyone can benefit and that is why it offers a variety of incentives for clubs to works towards or achieve Clubmark.
"The Trust has 54 accredited clubs, with another similar number working towards accreditation and I believe the clubs have played an important part in increasing the Active People participation levels in Trafford to 29.2%, which are amongst the top 10 most active communities within the UK. True partnership means working together and sharing the benefits. By giving our clubs a little, our community has benefitted significantly."
Watch this space - over the coming months we will be raising the profile of those local authorities, schools/school sport partnerships and other community agencies that have adopted the Charter as policy. If you have any information that could be included in this list please contact us.