Sport NZ - ihi Aotearoa - Sport New Zealand
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Growing Your Membership

Checklist - some things to consider

The club will have difficulty surviving if the membership isn’t continually growing.

That doesn't mean you must keep adding members for the sake of it. But if you want your club to grow, or even to retain current numbers, you must consider strategies to make sure you have new members joining up.

Your marketing plans will play a big part in attracting new members.

The marketing, communications and promotion section of Club Kit has more information on marketing your club.

Paul Kavanagh, Administration Manager, Wilton Bowling Club talks about Bowls New Zealand 

Topics on this page

Being inclusive - no exceptions

There are many barriers for people with disabilities who want to participate in sport, recreation or physical activity.

The vision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy is "a society that highly values our lives and continually enhances our full participation."

This shapes our No Exceptions Strategy as it envisions 'all people participating in the physical recreation and sport activities of their choice'. Your club’s use of the No Exceptions Strategy needs to be consistent with the following principles:

  • all New Zealanders have a right to access recreation and sporting opportunities.
  • individuals and organisations need to work together in partnership.
  • any initiatives should be sustainable and have a long-term, community development focus.
  • disabled people participate in sport and recreation for a range of reasons just like other people.
  • disabled people are experts about their own recreational needs, interests and issues.
  • disabled people will take leadership and planning roles.

The ability to participate in sport and recreation is an essential right for everyone in our communities. For disabled people this is not always possible because of social attitudes, lack of opportunities, and facilities that prevent participation.

It's your role to make sure that your sports or recreation club is inclusive and provides opportunities for everyone within your community.

Our wider community is becoming more flexible and inclusive towards individuals with disabilities. As a community-based sports or recreation club, you have the ability to lead and inspire other organisations and individuals by making No Exceptions.

Sport NZ and active children

We need our children to be more active, more often, right from the start.

Sport NZ has a wide range of programmes and resources available for those working with primary and secondary school children. Keeping kids active and healthy is a committment that your club can take a part in.

The three main initiatives run by Sport NZ are:

People and partners

Good partnerships contribute to a successful club. There are many community-based groups that will be able to provide assistance and support for your club. Tapping these resources will also ensure that the wider community is able to access your club and form partnerships with you as members and volunteers.

Local government

Find out what your local government organisations (local or district councils) are able to offer your club. Searching the internet is probably the easiest way to do this initially.

A positive relationship can be established with the local council and keep them informed about your club and its needs.

Your local council:

  • can provide ongoing advice and support for your organisation. Some council's have a Recreation Officer or Community Services Officer appointed for this purpose.
  • may have funds available to assist in developing sport and recreation facilities and projects .
  • may have a sport and recreation council or committee that encourages input in council sport and recreation policies and issues from sporting and community groups.
  • may have a club development program to assist clubs with their management and administration.

It may be helpful for your club to nominate a person to liase with the council. This person could organise an initial meeting to discuss how your club and the Council can work together effectively.

The council may also run forum and meetings of interest to your club. The easiest way to find this information is by looking on the internet.

Things you can do to establish a good relationship with your local government:

  • get to know your council’s elected-members, senior officers, and recreation and maintenance staff.
  • invite council representatives to club functions to present trophies, enjoy your hospitality, and most importantly, show them appreciation for the services they provide.
  • understand the problems that your council is having and help them with issues that affect your club. For example, establish a joint committee to examine sport's development in the district.
  • offer to assist in coaching and recreation programs of the council. Acknowledge your council whenever you can, particularly in any public arena.
  • don't complain, but rather approach problems constructively and seek "win-win" solutions.
  • encourage other community groups to take an interest in your sport by inviting them to participate in club activities.
  • insist on good behaviour, both on and off the field, displaying good sportsmanship and avoiding bad language.
  • be good neighbours and form relationships with those who use your grounds or own adjacent property. Complaints to the council will tarnish your image immediately.
  • establish a positive public relations program by appointing a member to liase with the Council.

Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs) and National Sports Organisations (NSOs)

Another vital partnership for your sports club will be with your local regional sports trust. They will be able to provide specific information on the kind of clubs and activities that are operating in the local area.

They are also able to provide resources such as information on your club's particular sport that will prove valuable for your coaches, members, and management committee.

National sport organisations and national recreational organisations are also good resources for information about your club's particular sport or recreation.

Schools

For many sport and recreation clubs, local schools with be key partners in running a community-focused club.

Your club can play an important part in getting kids active and contributing to their health and well-being.

Parents and teachers can offer valuable volunteer assistance in running your club and coaching its members.

Great partnerships with local schools will also ensure that 'up-and-coming' players have an established relationship with the club when they leave their school club.

Here are some tips for building successful partnerships with local schools.

  • Join forces with parents, teachers, and coaches already involved with school sports teams.
  • Get to know the players within the school teams and make your club accessible to them with events such as open training sessions or guest speaker evenings.
  • Form an understanding with your local schools about your club. Make information about the club easily available through the school e.g. through school newsletters.
  • Take a lead in approaching schools and make sure you have a club member available to go out into the local school community.

Resources and more information

The Office for Disability Issues has more information on the New Zealand Disability Strategy and its implementation.

Here are links to further information about growing membership.

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