The England Athletics network of affiliated clubs is invaluable and crucial to making our sport accessible to the thousands of athletes and runners to participate and compete safely each year.
To ensure our sport remains safe and enjoyable for all members, clubs and committees throughout England are prompted to work towards implementing the seven Club Standards.
Earlier this year, we caught up with Club Standards stars, Scunthorpe and District Running Club to find out more about why, and how they achieved the magic seven standards.
Let’s meet the club!
Scunthorpe and District Running Club are a friendly road running club based in north Lincolnshire. Like many clubs up and down the country, Scunthorpe welcome their 200 members to club nights twice per week. During Covid at a time when many aspects of the country were shutting down, Scunthorpe were proactive and set out to improve all areas of their club sessions and administration.
Approaching Club Standards
For many clubs, Club Standards may feel daunting or unfamiliar, however, Scunthorpe have some great ideas to breaking it down into achievable goals to help clubs begin their journey.
“We wanted to be better run,” said club chair Nicola Wilkinson. “We had a high turnover of members and wanted to address this by getting our house in order and Club Standards could help us to improve our club offer to the community.”
The club wanted to also grow and welcome junior members but needed to make sure they had everything in place to fully support adults before looking to children and young people.
The key to making progress with Club Standards is to work on one standard at a time to make it more manageable alongside the day to day running of the club.
“We started out by looking at where we were as a club and then we could notice gaps which needed to be filled. As a committee, we identified people within the club who had expertise which could help us to achieve specific Club Standards, and we spread the work out.
The benefits of Club Standards
Not only have Club Standards enabled Scunthorpe and District to increase their membership, they have also ensured that they can minimise any risk, issues or complaints within the club.
“We have improved our duty of care to our members and ensure that our safeguarding of members goes beyond the club activity.
“Club Standards have shown us that if you have the good standards in place, then you will have a successful club. It gives us the reputation that we are well run and welcoming as we look after our members, operate safely and know how to combat any issues when they arise.
“The numbers speak for themselves. We have seen an increase in members, run leaders, volunteers and committee members. We put our growth down to our improved reputation from having Club Standards in place. Our growth has also meant that we have been able to drive increased diversity within our committee. If everyone thinks the same way, it makes it difficult to be truly inclusive. We need to be able to look at different viewpoints and represent this across our club and activity.”
Quick tips for other clubs
If your club is currently struggling to achieve your Club Standards, or need support on your next step, don’t worry - we are always here to help! Here’s some top tips from Scunthorpe and District:
- Look at who you have on your committee. Do you have people who want change and want to be supportive?
- Look at the skills of those around you, and who could support you in achieving the standards.
- Have Club Standards on the agenda at committee meetings even when completed to ensure you stay on track and review these regularly.
- Use the support available through England Athletics. There are lots of useful resources on Club Hub, or you can contact your local Club Support Manager who will be more than happy to help!
A Club Standards refresher
There are seven Club Standards published by England Athletics in-line with Sport England governance to help clubs understand what should be in place for good governance and duty of care. There are seven Club Standards which clubs can work towards:
- Club Constitution
- Club Committee
- Grievance and Disciplinary Policy
- General Data Protection Regulation
- Inclusion and Diversity
- Club Safeguarding Code of Conduct
- Health and Safety
Find out more about each standard, and how your club can work towards achieving all seven on Club Hub.