Why working in partnership can help...
Rotherham Junior Water Polo Club established in late 2007 at Wath-Upon-Dearne Pool in Rotherham by players of Wath men's team when the existing water polo lessons were going to be cancelled. Members were found via various events and advertising in local swimming lessons. In December 2008, it moved venue to the newly built Rotherham Leisure Complex. This move coincided with the Club's journey to get accredited.
- The challenge
Whilst the club was able to benefit from the new facility, its numbers dropped and pool hire costs increased, A number of participants dropped due to the extra travelling required to get to the new site.
The preliminary health check also helped the Club to realise that some volunteers were under qualified and needed to attend safeguarding and protecting children courses, equity and diversity courses and disability awareness courses as well as doing their ASA Level 1 and 2 Water Polo.
- Key actions
Whilst collecting evidence for accreditation, it highlighted a need to recruit more volunteers and clarify what committee members were needed. This made the Club think about the future and they were able to put procedures in place and create an action plan to be able to sustain the Club.
Volunteers also became qualified to ASA Level 1 standard. Due to the accreditation, they were also able to find funding more easily to get these coaches qualified to Level 2.
With a lot of hard work, advertising and events, numbers were rebuilt and the Club is now full to capacity with 30 participants attending every week. This was undoubtedly as a result of some of the procedures put in place through the Clubmark process and partnership working with other clubs and local organisations.
The Club has worked with the Rotherham Aquatics Forum for the past 18 months, which has provided some funding for the pool space needed and also it helped to organise some events across Rotherham that in turn has helped to promote the Club.
The aquatics forum also established club-links with Rotherham Council and DC Leisure who were able to advertise Rotherham Junior Water Polo Club as a pathway from their lesson scheme as they are delivering Stage 8 Mini Polo.
A spokesman from the Club said, "Over the past 6 months we have also applied for some funding to pay for pool hire and to be able to buy some new equipment. Our bid was successful and it has been a great help in meeting our targets.
- Next steps
Keen to maintain momentum, the Club has further plans that include:
- getting more parents involved. This will enable other club members to concentrate on coaching the participants and giving them the best experience without wasting time at the beginning of the session collecting fees etc.
- making sure coaches receive training to keep them up to date with current techniques and ideas and to make sure they are qualified to an appropriate standard.
- entering a team into a local league so players increase in confidence and are able to improve their game.
- sending some of the better players to the local academy in Sheffield so they are able to have access to the best opportunities.
A message for other clubs that may be struggling with accreditation,
"I would advise any club that is struggling to ask other local clubs for advice and help. Share your problems as another club could be struggling with something you found easy. Our local aquatics forum really helped us as we could bounce ideas off each other."
For more information, contact the Club: (Paul Kyte 01709 519069, 07748142695)
Tue, 01/12/2009 - 10:39am