Young people not getting involved

Fewer than 10% of those involved in running a club are aged under 30 and better knowledge is needed to understand how to bring in extra revenue.

The NZ Amateur Sport Association and the AUT Sport Performance Research Institute of NZ carried out a survey of 775 clubs across the country of about 150,000 members.

The survey showed clubs with more than 200 members were growing in number while clubs of fewer than 100 members were fading away.

Association chairman Gordon Noble-Campbell said the low number of young people getting involved in the running of clubs came down to little recognition or incentive for them to get involved.

"Clubs are still an important part of the overall development of a player both on and off the field ... the club can be a springboard to success," he said.

"But take away the recognition [of what] people do for the club and the incentive to work for the club and it is hard for a lot of people to get involved."

Running a club was also a lot more technical and complex, due to the new regulatory environment being introduced.

The shifting club landscape makes it imperative for national sport organisations of all codes to assess how clubs of various sizes are doing and the optimal size of clubs for the future.

Many clubs reported finding new people willing to serve in governance roles was a challenge.

Long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of many sport clubs and new people and ideas are vital to protect against stagnation.

The ideal length of time to be on a committee is no more than five years, but many clubs have had the same administrators for decades.

Just 9% of those volunteering as board or committee members at a sport club are less than 30 years old.

Long-standing members find it hard to walk away from the club and few clubs have strategic plans in place to look ahead with any confidence.

Most clubs are losing money or breaking even, and with the future of trust funding uncertain, it is important to better understand commercial sponsorship as a viable alternative.

Clubs should have a dedicated person looking into fundraising and not add it on to another role.

There was a role for national and regional bodies to inform and upskill club leaders across all codes on how to be more "commercially savvy".

Society was changing in so many ways and clubs were going to have to change to meet new needs.

The fundamental point in sport was that all clubs had an important part to role in the community beyond the sport they represent.

It was important to ensure these sport clubs stay socially connected within the community.

Sporting hubs will continue to grow, as various sports combine to be based in one clubrooms.


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