Setting up a Club

Are you looking to set up a new snowsports club?

You don’t have to work through these in order, and remember you don’t have to do everything at once.

If you would like help, then please contact one of the team:

Central, Eastern, London and South West – Ryan Grewcock (ryan@snowsportengland.org.uk)

North West, North East and Yorkshire - Luke Williams (luke@snowsportengland.org.uk)

South, South West – Carrera Clarke (carrera@snowsportengland.org.uk)

 

When going through setting up a club there are some fantastic free resources.

We recommend Sport England’s Club Matters

 

First some questions to ask yourself:

Is there a club already up and running in your area?

We recommend that you thoroughly research snowsport clubs in your local area to see what already exists.

You might want to consider the option of joining forces with an existing club and volunteering to start a new section if they not offer an opportunity for the age group, gender or ability level that you are looking to cater for/ target.

 

Do you have enough people to set up a club?

To affiliate to Snowsport England there is a minimum membership charge of 10 members. Try asking friends, family local schools, colleges and colleagues to see if the demand is out there for your club.

 

Choosing your club name

Choosing the name of your club is a fun part of setting up your club it is also a very import and necessary as this will set up identity of your group. Allowing you to draw up formal documents and open a bank or building society account.

The name can be anything you decide. However it is worth just checking to see whether any other clubs in your local area (both in your sport or in other activities) use the same name or something similar as this could cause confusion.

It is also advisable to ensure that the name you choose will not cause offence and to bear in mind any unfortunate acronyms or abbreviated versions that may not present the image you were hoping for...or be appropriate!

 

Club constitution

A club constitution is a simple document that outlines its functions and the rules under which it will operate. Having a constitution should help to clarify how club procedures work.

It is difficult for any organisation to run smoothly without this statement of unified purpose, which is also normally there to protect club members and officers.

A constitution should do the following:

  • Explain to members (and non-members) what your club is about.
  • Help protect club members and officers.
  • Explain to members (and non-members) what your club is about.
  • Clarify how club procedures should work.
  • Clarify and help sort out internal problems.
  • Underpin funding applications - most funding bodies will not consider applications from groups without a constitution.
  • Enable your club to become incorporated.

Snowsport England requires all clubs to be constituted to affiliate, this is to show that a club is operating with suitable policies and procedures as a legitimate club rather than a commercial entity.

A model constitution is available here for you to uses as a guide.

 

Club structures

The way in which the club is set up is frequently overlooked and shadowed by the day to day tasks involved in creating a successful club. However how the club needs to be aware of how its structure impacts on the financial and legal position of the club, and the personal risk which committee members and trustees take on.

Often clubs only become aware if there are financial difficulties or a claim brought against the club, which could be problematic to the club’s future existence and members personal liability and finances.

This should be one of the first areas a club looks into to enable it to be formally recognised, open a bank account, enter into agreements for hiring facilities, and be accountable to the membership. It may also be necessary for existing clubs to review whether they are currently set up using the most appropriate structure.

Snowsport England does not have any rules or requirements that specify that a club must be one legal form or another. It is a matter for each club to determine the legal form that is best for it, based on its own circumstances

 

The Basics

The Best place to start is Club Matters FREE online Organisational Structures Modules. It covers all you need to know in a step by step easy to understand way. From unincorporated Vs incorporated structures to the different statuses you can take on to gain financial advantages.

You will have to register your club to access this resource, which is quick to do on the Club Matters website.

 

Club committees

The club’s committee exists to serve the club and ensure that it’s members receive the best possible service and experiences, the members of this committee are formally responsible for ensuring this as well as managing and carrying out the club’s essential tasks.

So one of the first jobs for a new club is to select its committee. This may sound official and daunting but it’s actually extremely straightforward.

When electing the club committee, make sure that roles and responsibilities of each committee members are outlined and clear for all to see. By doing this committee members can effectively commit to performing their responsibilities and there is less likely to be any confusion or miscommunication between them and the clubs membership.

Example role outlines can be found under the committee member roles section, these are a starting point to then be adapted to your club.

Committee Members Roles

Snowsport England requires every affiliated club to have a committee made up of at least 4 elected members.

Other areas committee roles are commonly created to cover;

  • Vice Chairperson
  • Communications/ Marketing: – Example roles, Communications Coordinator, Website Coordinator
  • Volunteers: Example role, Role Volunteer Coordinator
  • Coaching: – Example role, Head Coach
  • Membership Secretary
  • Events:- Example role, Events Coordinator
  • Funding/ Fundraising:- Example role, Fundraising Secretary
  • Social Secretary

The above is not a fully comprehensive list, every club operates is a slightly different way. The roles you have on your committee are up to you are your members.

 

How does a committee get elected?

The members who will sit on the committee for a specified time outlined in the clubs constitution should be elected at the clubs Annual General Meeting (AGM), or your first meeting if your club is just starting out.

The following process should be followed,

  1. Advertise the vacant committee role ahead of the AGM and identify interest, this avoids any embarrassing situations when committee members are asked for.
  2. The potential committee members should be nominated by another member of the club at the AGM.
  3. Another member who agrees with this nomination seconds this nomination.
  4. If more than one person is nominated there may need to be a vote. In most clubs this is best undertaken by a show of hands. You can also organise a secret ballot if it is thought important. The club may wish to give the nominees a chance to say why they wish to take on the role they have been nominated for to allow voting members to make an educated decision.
  5. The results of all the votes and those who nominated and seconders should be recorded in the meeting minutes.

 

Club bank accounts

Once you have agreed who the club committee members are, have a name and a simple constitution, a bank account in the name of the club is likely to be your next step. Normally this job falls within the role of the treasurer, with the committee needing to agree to final decision.

Which bank account to choose?

Sport England has some useful information on areas that you should consider when comparing accounts available. 

 

Club meetings

There are 3 types of meetings involved with running a club which are detailed below.

 

Committee Meetings

These are meeting where the members of the club’s committee meet to discuss club business and related matters on a regular basis.

It is recommended that that a meeting should be held at least once every 3 – 4 months. However having meetings more frequently than this does tend to ensure that the club is communicating and progressing instead of stagnating, it is not uncommon for committee meetings to be held once a month.

How regular these meetings are is down to the committee and should be based upon the club’s needs and requirements. In busier times such as in the process of setting up a club don’t be afraid increase the number of meetings and then reduce once the club is quitter again.

The role of organising the time, venue and giving notice to committee members is that of the Club Secretary

Annual General Meetings (AGM)

The Annual General Meeting is an opportunity for all of your club members to have their input in to the running of the club and ensure the decision making process is fair and representative.

It is a necessity of a constituted organisation and serves a number of purposes.

  • To highlight the progress and achievements of the club over the past 12 months.
  • To elect the clubs committee for the following year.
  • To discuss and vote on any changes to the constitution
  • To produce and review the club’s annual accounts

The process of how to organise and run this meeting are detailed in the clubs constitution, it is IMPORTANT to follow this word for word to get it right. As if you get it wrong the meeting could be declared unconstitutional and you may have to start all over again!!

As a general rule you should;

  • Not use the AGM to ‘surprise’ people with important issues. Always raise these beforehand as part of the notice of the AGM as proposition to be discussed and voted on. The usual notice for an AGM is a minimum of 21 days but check the details of your constitution.
  • Advertise and invite members to make nominations for the election of committee members prior to the meeting. Also give updates in the lead up pushing any vacant positions. This will help to avoid an embarrassing silences when new committee members are asked for.
  • Involve others in the planning process for the meeting, the clubs secretary is normally responsible for the organisation of the AGM however sharing the workload makes it easier.
  • Check the number of members that are in attendance at the start. The constitution should state the minimum number or proportion of members needed to for the AGM to be quorate (empowered to make decisions). If you don’t have this there is no point having the meeting and trying to reach decisions as they won’t count. To ensure the success of your AGM and membership attendance it is best to keep the business part as brief as possible and twin it with a social event afterwards.
  • Take advantage of the fact that the majority of the clubs members in one place and a great opportunity to make your members feel part of the success of the clubs last year and get them involved with helping out in the future.

Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)

EGMs serve a similar purpose to the AGM however are called when a minimum number of club members (specified in the constitution) wish to amend a club rule, amend the constitution or discuss any other important or urgent matters which cannot wait until the AGM.

An example for the need of an EGM’s being if three months into the year the existing committee retires on mass. Obviously the club cannot wait until the next AGM to vote in a new one.

The Club Secretary is normally responsible of the organisation of the above meetings in terms of times, venue and communication giving notice to committee members and the membership. The Chairperson should support the Club Secretary with the creation of agendas and supporting documentation.

It is important that all meetings are recorded so discussions and decisions can be shared and referred to at a later date. This is most commonly done by the Club Secretary through the taking of written minutes.

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