Times are constantly changing and ensuring that your club has the facilities available to cope with these times is vital.
Many clubs still have outdated infrastructure, and as a result, they aren’t appealing to people looking for a club to play at, and it also means that the members and players are not getting the full development they need for them and their club to succeed.
Field of Dreams, which is in my unbiased opinion one of the greatest movies of all time, made the phrase famous that “If you build it, they will come”, and truer words have never been spoken.
Great facilities speak large volumes, and while it may be costly, it is definitely a “short-term pain for long-term gain” situation.
While your club's budget may make investing in new facilities a struggle, there are many other alternatives that we will look at below that can help your club gain the facilities that they need.
Once again, however, we have to give a huge shoutout to CLUBMAP for elaborating on this topic in their latest free weekly webinar. If you feel that your club needs improving, I urge you to jump in on their webinars which begin every Monday at 7 pm (EST).
Check the CLUBMAP free webinars here - CLUBMAP - Free webinars - CLUBMAP
The key to modern facilities can range from overall club enjoyment, all the way to fast player/member growth and retention. Major projects, such as new clubrooms can take around 5 years to complete, but as a club, you need to ask yourselves, how do we see our facilities looking in the next decade?
Obviously, these things don’t just happen overnight, and thorough planning and evaluation need to be in place. The first steps to take when planning new facilities for your club are to allocate roles to members whether it be designating someone to communicate with the council re funding, or somebody drawing up a development plan.
If multiple clubs share the same facilities, then thorough communication needs to be held between all parties to ensure every club gets equal use of the facilities available, making it fair for everyone, otherwise, this can taint relationships between clubs down the track, and can ultimately lead to clubs disbanding, or having to find a new ground to play at.
Thorough Budget Allocation is often required when looking to invest in new club facilities, however other options such as Grants and consulting your State and/or Federal MP are also possibilities.
A hidden gem in local sports is the Australian Sports Foundation. This is a website that allows clubs to ask for donations if they are struggling, or if they are looking for support to get new infrastructure put in place. Many clubs have taken advantage of this product and used it to promote support for their club, many of which the contributions given meant they were able to sustain their future.
Check it out here - Home - Australian Sports Foundation (asf.org.au)
I said it before, but if I can leave you with anything, just remember, “If you build it, they will come”.
Good luck to you and your club getting the facilities that you need!