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Network Clubs

NETWORK CLUBS

 

A key objective from all the established network groups was the ability to attract new volunteers to get involved with Club activities.

In order to try & address these key issues, a Workshop has been organised for SUNDAY 1st DECEMBER 2013 at a central venue in Devizes.

This will be a first for the County, bringing together all the Clubs to discuss a topic that concerns us all. We will be looking at a number of key areas during the day, including the following:

–       Engaging with parents & older swimmers

–       Developing programmes to educate parents

–       Identifying key volunteers

–       Matching roles & skills

–       Managing your club

–       Recruiting volunteers

–       Key do’s & dont’s

–       Sharing best practice

–       An action list for YOUR scenario

 We are going to be helped throughout the day, by Francesca Kelly, Head of Volunteer Engagement at the ASA, but most of the ideas will come from our own experience. Sharing ideas & best practice will at the heart of what I’m sure will be a fun day. Please keep the date free & identify 2/3 people from your Club that can attend.

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Funding Watch (Added 4th November 2013)

One of the key findings from the discussions with the Network Clubs was the whole issue of funding for clubs – where to find it & tips on being successful in applying.

Funding Watch is a new initiative by County Swimming which will try & alert Clubs to any funding related issues that might be relevant to us all. It will work if we all share news or opportunities that come our way. As a County, we will try & monitor web sites from the ASA, British Swimming, The Swimming Trust, Swimathon Foundation, Government Agencies, Sport England, Funding for Sport & Wiltshire 4 Community. But this is not an exclusive list – other opportunities may emerge from time to time through your local Community Groups and/or Local Authorities. Local Charities also can be a useful source of funding sometimes.

We will do our best to monitor these sites & feed through anything new & relevant by e-mail. The County is currently building a mailing list to whom the information will be sent – it will include all those that help run the County, Officers, Sub Committee Secretaries etc, together with all Club Chairs, Hon Secretaries & Hon Treasurers. If you or your Club would like any additions to that list, please let me know – an extra e-mail costs nothing.

To get things started, here are some of the links we will be using – if your ‘Funding Officer’ wants to log into their mailing lists direct – why not……..

www.fundingcentral.org.uk

http://www.sportengland.org/funding/our-different-funds/inclusive-sport/

http://www.funding4sport.co.uk/

http://www.open4community.info/wiltshire/Default.aspx

I hope this is helpful – if you come across anything that you feel other Clubs may benefit from, please let me know & I will arrange for the details to be circulated

Dennis Yeoman

Tel; 01793 643760

E-mail: Dennis.Yeoman@btinternet.com

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NETWORK CLUBS – UPDATE  (25th September 2013) 

  1. Since approval was given by the Executive, at least one meeting has been held with each group & in some cases two. Good progress has been achieved to date, with all but two of our affiliated clubs participating in the meetings – but all have had input into their needs & priorities.
  1. A detailed list of the agreed priorities in each area has been prepared & circulated to the co-ordinators, ready for the second meeting which will plan the programme needed in detail, adding dates & venues etc to their broad plan of needs.
  1. Other discussions have taken place with the Panel & the Hon Treasurer with a view to ensuring that the objectives required by each network can be achieved within the overall budget of £4k agreed. The Hon Treasurer suggested that the scheme runs for 12 months starting 1st October ’13, which fits well with the projected needs.
  1. Outcomes:

The outcomes from each of the Network Groups were remarkably similar & could be summarised as follows:

(a)   Recruitment of new volunteers was a major issue to everyone;

(b)  Clubs were generally unaware of the financial subsidies & grant aid currently available;

(c)   Money was not always the reason why clubs were failing to attract & train volunteers;

(d)  Finding the right people with the skills needed to give time to the clubs;

(e)   All were concerned that clubs were surviving on over commitment from a few.

5.   Areas for Action 

Again there was a concensus on what was needed:

(a)   A need to engage with parents – both to educate & identify potential volunteers

(b)  Easy routes into volunteering – for officiating, teaching, coaching, team management & general club administration;

(c)   A general need to identify potential ‘presenters’ from within each network to help parents become involved;

(d)  A principle that to engage parents, any meetings/training needed to be carried out a their ‘home’ pool, as their children were training;

(e)   A need to ensure that if volunteers engaged in activity for the club or county, they needed to be rewarded in an appropriate way & any expenses incurred, re-imbursed promptly;

(f)   It needs to be fun – we are not always as welcoming as we could be.

(g)   Care needs to be taken to dovetail the network activity with the active programmes in place through WASP & the Education & Development Committee.

6.  Specific Needs 

(a)   A need to stage Team Manager Training (Module 1 – Local Competitions) at all of the club venues, spread over the year. They should be made available to all members of the network – not exclusive to the club staging the course.

(b)  In order to facilitate (a) – there was a need to train additional Presenters, capable of delivering the prescribed course material – all provided by the ASA. All that was needed were 3 attributes – enthusiasm, some experience of being a Team Manager for local events & a willingness to lead a couple of evenings within the network. A Presenters Workshop is scheduled for Thursday 17th November ’13 at Devizes, starting at 7:30pm.

(c)  It’s also planned to stage a Team Manager Training (Module 2 – Overnight Stays & Travel Abroad) at a central venue on Wednesday 15th January ’14 in Swindon.

(d)  An introduction to officiating – from parent to Judge 1 seems a huge step & there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest we run the risk of frightening off parents that might be interested. We have staged introductory courses before under a banner of “so you want to be an official……..” & there seems to be a need to re-invent this basic introduction.  Most networks have experienced officials that could help develop such opportunities, to enable parents to help at club events & if they want to, progress to J1..

(e)   Health & Safety –  there seems to be a common need for an H & S update, particularly in the context of risk assessments – two workshops will be held at a central venue to update where necessary.

(f)   Nutrition – everyone sees a common need to continue to educate both parents & swimmers in this key topic. A trial event is to be staged at Trowbridge, using a Nutritionist from the University of Bath & if successful it could be rolled out around the networks.

(g)   Swim 21 – the ASA have recently revised their Swim 21 processes. It’s unclear as yet, if there are any training issues likely to flow as a result, but if there are, they will be addressed.

(h)  Funding Sources – it seems impossible to keep track of any funding opportunities that may be available to clubs from Govt sources; Sport England; ASA; Swimathon; Swimming Trust etc. It’s intended to pull together that information & circulate to a nominated person within each club. A number of clubs have also requested that we try to put together some advice on applying for grants from external sources.

(i)    CPD Courses – we are currently reliant on IoS to facilitate these events at what seems an inflated cost. Of course, there are courses where using the IoS is essential if teachers & coaches still require points for Licensing or for those CPD’s required as part of Swim 21. But this is not the case for many of those that might benefit from updating their skills. It’s not suggested that we lower the standards of any CPD’s undertaken, but running them ourselves, could have a significant impact on cost.

(j)   Volunteers a significant date for your diary – Sunday 1st December ’13 – we are going to run a Workshop in Devizes aimed at identifying, recruiting & rewarding volunteers. It will be a first in the Country & will be led by Francesca Kelly, the ASA’s Head of Volunteer Engagement, together with some of our own team from Wiltshire. Some of the topics covered will include:

–     Engaging with parents

–     Developing programmes to educate parents

–     Identifying key volunteers

–     Matching roles & skills

–     Managing your club

–     Recruiting volunteers

–     Key do’s & dont’s

–     Sharing best practice

–      An action list for your scenario