MORE THAN JUST SPORTS
Author - Luke Holmes
We’ve all got a thousand stories from our youth and many of mine are of my local rugby club. They were always the highlight of my week… I’d ball boy for my Dad’s team, hang out in the sheds with him, get my weekly packet of red frogs and a can of fanta.
One Saturday night I still vividly remember my family having to sleep in our car as the council worker had locked the paddock it was parked in and of course there was no Uber back then!
I remember fondly the people at the club being like family to us and I still have strong connections to some of the people who remember me as a 6-year-old running around Rat Park like I owned it back in the 80s. There’s plenty more of those types of stories and they hold utmost importance to me as they showed me the tangible and crucial nature of community at its finest.
Times have somewhat changed. Life has got faster, busier and more frantic and the opportunities to genuinely connect with people and create family amongst community has become much more challenging.
Sports and Australia are synonymous, and the role sporting clubs play in society is pertinent to the wellbeing of our nation. I’m a huge believer in this.
The value of our clubs spans much more broadly then just sport. They are a hub of help, a centre of care, a place of potential, a home for community dwellers. They provide opportunity, sporting pathways and identity within the community and have proven to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
I’ve seen first-hand what regular involvement in sports can achieve within a community such as:
More local people participating as volunteers in community life
Local people playing part in something bigger than themselves
More cohesive, tolerant and inclusive communities that value diversity
More sustainable communities with local pride and a sense of belonging
A reduction in youth offending and anti-social behaviour
An increase in culture of respect and tolerance amongst young people
A reduction in crime, alcohol consumption and drug misuse
Reduced mental health illness and suicide
The importance of sport or organised physical activity has long been an essential part of our culture. Research suggests that young people’s participation in sport improves their numeracy scores by 8% on average above non-participants.
With falling participation numbers and people’s lives becoming more and more busy we are continually seeing the demise of once strong local clubs. Smaller volunteer numbers with the huge amount of responsibility left on the shoulders of only a very few. Clubs that once were full of vision are now barely surviving with lack of structure, purpose and aspiration.
Through our extensive work through NSW we know that for community Clubs to be effective they need strong structure, governance, solid planning, tangible KPI’s, impactful connections and community partnerships.
This is why Club Factory was built; to support Community Clubs by providing the tools and framework to expand and grow their impact within the local community.
The mandate of Club Factory is to ensure Community Clubs re-gain their position within local community by playing their role in providing connection, identity, purpose and social interaction.
There are still stories to be told and memories to be made, but if I want my kids to have the same experience, we need to buy-in and get on board with re-igniting sports club in Australia.
Head to www.clubfactory.com.au and sign your Club up today and make 2020 your best yet.