Funding for sport: A case study2007IntroductionBarugh Green Sports Club, the multi-activity club based in Yorkshire, is constrained with fund shortages in both its expansion plans and to maintain the current level of activities. There is growing demand for sports facilities in the locality and the club has the possibility of doubling its membership in five years, particularly with the development of the new housing project close to it, if it can improve the facilities. The main facilities, including the three full sized football pitches, two soccer pitches and the two rugby fields are all in bad conditions.
Despite having eight tennis courts, one of which has been converted to a basketball court, these cannot be fully used because there are no floodlights. The young tennis players of the locality, who prefer to play after work, therefore, cannot avail of the facilities leaving only older members to the club. The cricket pitch and the bowling alley next to each other means there are distractions and disturbances for players of both. The regular users – the adult and junior football and rugby teams that play on Saturdays and Sundays – have to share time on the fields.
The club cannot extend facilities for women’s teams for lack of space. Besides, poor drainage facilities frequently disrupt games in the winter to the extent of canceling games and training sessions. Since the club does not have floodlights, it cannot have indoor training facilities. The club’s current funds, that is still short of five months’ salary bill by GBP 5,000, do not allow it to employ more than two full-time employees. That is why it does not have sufficient coaches despite there being a number of volunteers for the tennis section.
The club realizes that the poor condition of the facilities are discouraging both new members to join and existing members to pay more fees that it could utilize to improve training facilities. Besides the lack of proper pavilion, bar, reception and changing rooms has also driven away members. The club is in a Catch 22 situation in the sense that it urgently requires to improve the facilities to draw more membership but does not have the resources.
Hence, the only way out for the club to seek external resources. There are various options for the club to raise resources from - government agencies, trusts and charitable funds, voluntary organizations, private companies or the community. However, the club needs to prioritize its projects and approach alternate organizations in a systematic manner. Sport England Yorkshire has been provided with GBP 18,000,000 from the Community Fund of Sport England to develop sport facilities in the area through County partnership programs and increase participation in sports and recreation by 1 percent annually till 2020.
The Yorkshire Plan for Sport, 2004, laid out the ground rules to promote sport through Country partnership programs and the Action Plan 2007 has been agreed by the County partners (Sport England). The club should avail of this facility to raise funds for expansion. This report attempts to lay down a game plan for chalking out the various projects that the club requires, prioritize them and plan alternate fund-raising activities for the short-listed projects.