Sports clubs focus on building a sense of community. Nothing beats group activities for creating a social and connected atmosphere at your facility – and for encouraging new people to join so they can be part of the fun and the community you are building.

Group programmes and activities are a proven and effective way to draw people in. Research shows it is one of the most important factors in choosing and staying at a club. From a management point of view, well attended programmes are a cost-effective way to meet the needs of a large number of our members – and therefore retain them.

How can our club choose which programmes are going to be the best for our members?

Rather than guess what might be useful to offer your community, there is a more systematic way to approach this. It all starts with focusing on the profile of your existing members and considering what kind of new programmes would attract new members to your facility.

  • Know your participants – determine your club demographics (age, gender, etc.)
  • Identify their behaviour trends – use some form of activity reporting data to help
  • Understand their motivations – find out what your members actually want to participate in and why

Once you’ve done this, give more time to the programmes that match your demographic positioning.

How this looks in application

After looking at their membership database and talking to their members, Auckland Sports Club recognised they have a family-orientated membership who primarily play sport to fit in, who like to socialise and are looking for fitness and health benefits. The Auckland Sports Club then decided to offer the following as their core programmes:

  • Juniors
  • Females
  • Youth and Adult Beginners

Identifying their programme offerings also enables the Auckland Sports Club to provide specific coach development opportunities for their workforce who oversee each programme. This means that the coaches delivering the programmes have the skills and knowledge to best support the needs of all participants.

Is there a science to getting the right programmes at the right times on the right days?

The simple answer is no, but here are some aspects to consider:

  • Give people more of what they want – ask them
  • Simplify your offerings – focus on providing quality (not quantity) experiences
  • Review regularly – use activity reporting data to help assess performance
  • Display a clear and easy-to-follow schedule – let people know

More information

To find the right directions for your club and how to get there click here.