A few days ago I ran one of our Grow Your Club workshops .There was the normal mix of single-sport clubs, multi-sport clubs and also a few dance/aerobics teachers running their own enterprises.
As per normal at our workshops the people who attend are from the better performing sports providers, who want to do things better. The badly performing ones rarely turn up. They tend to know all the reasons why things can’t get done and why somebody else (the Government, the Council, their NGB or even Winnie the Pooh!) should do something about it. Their decline has got nothing to do with them, so why turn up to something where they might get inspired and, shock horror, learn something new?
However back at the workshop none of these well-performing providers there reported an increase in numbers; all have static number of users. No wonder our sports participation numbers are so depressing.
What was also interesting was that the entrepreneurs, really hard-working instructors who had evolved into leaders of community sports entrepreneurs were reporting frustration because of their lack of time, skills and infrastructure to really make their enterprise vibrant, visible and viable. As one reported: “Yes Svend, I know I need to do all the stuff you are talking about. But when and how? I’ve only got so many hours!”
At the same time representatives from the clubs expressed their frustration over their fellow committee members: “Yes, our club should be more welcoming and community-focussed etc. but we do have so many people who don’t change. And certainly not at their club!”
So how to help entrepreneurs develop better capabilities and stronger infrastructures and how to install more entrepreneurial approaches in our committee-led clubs?