Sport Bay of Plenty

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ActiveVoice: What players want from their clubs

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


As the winter sports season draws to a close, it’s a time to reflect on the reasons why players feel engaged with their club.

Sport NZ research into club satisfaction shows 61% of players are satisfied with their club, 68% rate their club as better than other clubs and 83% are likely to rejoin next season.

Players who are more involved at the club, and have been at the club longer, tend to be more positive. The happiest people are club officials or committee members, who have played for their club in a regional competition and have belonged for more than 10 years.

Young adults are less enthused and less likely to rejoin their club, as are players who have belonged for a shorter period (three to five years).

There is real potential for clubs to evolve, to better accommodate and attract younger players, and encourage them to stay.

So what are the factors that ensure club satisfaction?

A successful club is one that:

  • Makes all members feel welcome, and has an open and friendly culture
  • Operates in a professional manner and has sporting expertise
  • Communicates well and appropriately
  • Has decent facilities
  • Provides great coaching to all its members
  • Helps all its members reach their full sporting potential
  • Provides a good social environment for players to enjoy and relax in.

Players want their club to help them fulfil their potential, be professional and well-managed, and have good communication.

If there is a change in venue or game time, half of players would like to be notified by text message, and another third by email. The traditional channels of 0800 numbers and radio community noticeboards are no longer desired.

To attract and retain younger members, clubs would do well to:

  • Promote a fun and welcoming club atmosphere
  • Build coaching opportunities for boosting sporting potential
  • Engage in regional competitions that allow individual development
  • Offer social events that appeal to a younger demographic
  • Focus on their contact databases and back room technology channels
  • Demonstrate value for money of club membership.

As one satisfied survey respondent said, “My club offers teams for any level of experience. The social element is why I rate my club so high. Having a tournament every year is a big reason why I have stayed for so long as well. The general feel to the club is friendly and welcoming.”

Above all, the human touch – remember that the most important reason for club recommendation is a great atmosphere and being friendly, supportive and welcoming. It’s the key reason a player joins a sports club in the first place.

Click here for a full analysis of the Sport NZ survey.

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x3 May 2016