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Welcome to

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Supporting Halo Leisure's resident community clubs

Sports clubs like yours have a major and often quite magical impact on their members and the community where they live. Here at Halo’s Club-links, in collaboration with our main partner Bridgend County Borough Council, and other partners, we want to do everything we can to support that work, support you - with funding, recruitment, marketing and advice on other issues (be it GDPR or health and safety) that clubs like yours have to manage.

Ready To Go?

Here’s some ways we can work together to get more people more active more often...

1. A Quick Health Check...

We’re working with Sport Wales on this one and dozens of clubs have already completed this health check and are now accessing our guidance and advice to secure funding and other support.

Clubs like Ogwr Indoor Bowling Club who have already made successful Community Chest funding applications (see their story below).

This is not an accreditation tool but about accessing the free support available to help your club.

5 things you need to know about your quick Sport Wales health check...

The assessment - 22 easy questions - links you into Sport Wales’ Club Solutions portal and a brilliant tool to help you and your committee think about what your club does well and what support you need to achieve your ambitions for improvement.

This is NOT an accreditation tool, and there are NO wrong answers. This is about getting you the support you need rather than rating what you do.

It can take just 15 minutes, though some clubs have found it a useful starter for discussion at committee level and spent longer working on it.

Ideally you’ll complete it as a team (with key committee members) - either all in one go or one theme at a time according to your own timetable. It focuses on management, members, finances, facilities and promotion.

When you’re done you can download the report, share it with Club-links coordinator ryan.statton@haloleisure.org.uk and we’ll support you by tailoring advice and workshops, based on your answers.

Take the Sport Wales Club Health Check
After the club health check is completed you will receive a Solutions Report on topics such as safeguarding young people, volunteers and finances. You can download the report and share it with us via email. From this we can signpost you to relevant information, resources and guidance to help you develop further. Read how we helped Ogwr Indoor Bowling Club secure new funding.
Case Studies

2. WORKSHOPS

There are scores of clubs across the county, and Halo’s Club-links are thrilled that so many of them use the facilities at our leisure centres for their regular activities or special events. We have developed a series of workshops that allow clubs to come together to hear speakers, benefit from specialist advice (be it on data protection or health and safety, funding or facilities), and share best practice via this county’s network of people who are passionate about grassroots sport.

Register your interest (and we’ll update you on events) by emailing Club-links Coordinator ryan.statton@haloleisure.org.uk or check out events coming up here and book your place online.

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GDPR

The law has changed and every club needs to be up to date and stay up to date. Has your club got to grips with these new data protection regulations?
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RECRUIMENT

Looking for new members or volunteers to help your management team? This workshop will be full of practical advice.
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FINANCE

A must do workshop that will help you sort, shape, save and steer the money that’s crucial for your success.
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How to promote your club: Successful clubs engage and communicate

This workshop covers how to use social and mobile media to communicate with members, sponsors and supporters, thus reaching much wider audiences at almost no cost.
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3. Funding advice

Once sport clubs have completed our health check we want to support those who’d benefit from funding and specialist funding advice. Our funding clinics have already seen Club-links work with clubs like yours to secure Sports Wales’ Community Chest funding, grants of up to £1500 to support drives to increase participation and improve standards.

You can read about some of the recent recipients here....

  • Porthcawl Town Athletic Mini and Junior football club

    Porthcawl Town Athletic Mini and Junior football club

    Porthcawl Town Athletic Mini and Junior football club, which organises football coaching for scores of youngsters in Bridgend County (and who train on the 3G pitch at the Halo centre in Pyle), has just picked up more than a thousand pounds to support their coach training after they tapped into support from Club-links.

    “Like me, most people behind sports clubs are volunteers doing this in our spare time. So to have the chance to meet and exchange ideas (on everything from recruitment to volunteer management) and benefit from best practice and specialist advice is fantastic," says Michelle Mitchell, soccer mum and new secretary of the Porthcawl Club. "The first Club-link workshop focused on fundraising opportunities and offered support from the Halo team on applying to Sports Wales’ Community Chest, a fund managed by the local authority.”

    Porthcawl’s Minis and Juniors was just one club who were successful in picking up a grant Community Chest as a result. Michelle says when coaches are volunteering across the year (and they have about 20 volunteers supporting the club in admin and coaching roles) this kind of support can be vital.

    “We’re seeing nearly 150 children training across at least 45 weeks of the year for eight mini teams (non competitive primary school aged children) and five teams of over 11s, who play in the Port Talbot and District league from September through to the end of April. The children’s subs (from around £2 per week for minis) cover equipment, coach training (including first aid), end of season awards, plus our affiliation fees (including the South Wales FA) and use of 3G pitches. But this additional grant will allow them to get higher level training, which will be brilliant for the children."

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  • Ogwr Indoor Bowls club

    Ogwr Indoor Bowls club

    Club-links has helped Ogwr Indoor Bowls club secure two grants for marketing and new equipment, supporting their ambitions to reach out to and engage with new members across the county.

    At Bridgend’s Indoor Bowling Centre, right next door to the Life Centre in town, hundreds of bowlers take advantage of the six rinks to enjoy sport and all the benefits it brings. And there are so many benefits, says chairman Wynne Walters pointing to three generations of the same family enjoying a game together and, in another rink, a new Thursday Stroke Club who are, says Wynne, quite inspirational, using bowls as part of their rehabilitation.

    “It is great physical exercise, but bowls also gives people a feeling of belonging - camaraderie and fellowship. And it’s one of those sports you can switch to easily if you’ve enjoyed other sports, or learn quickly - we have coaches to help - if you have never played before,” says Wynne.

    Wynne and the club executive knew they wanted to reach more people with news of what bowls offered in Bridgend and so - with support of Bridgend County Borough Council and Halo, under the Club-links programme - applied for and were awarded two grants, together worth some £3,000 - one to support a marketing strategy and new website and another to fund equipment so those who wanted to give bowling a try could hire shoes and woods free of charge.

    “The season runs from October to March, and offers people, many widowed and on their own, a real opportunity to get together and enjoy exercise with friends on winter days. We charge £30 membership and £3 for each two hour session (£4 for non members) so we make sure it’s affordable and accessible. But those subs pay for the building and bowling rinks. The equipment and the website are about telling people we’re open for business, and making sure anyone can give it a go without any additional expense. The grants paid for that and the strategy is working.  We have 300 members at the moment, and more enquiries every week.

    If you’d like to find out more go to the website or email Wynne and his team at bridgendindoorbowls@gmail.com.
  • Bridgend Canoe Club

    Bridgend Canoe Club

    If you head down to Pencoed swimming pool or the Ogmore River these days you’ll often see dozens of men, women and children (20 of them at least) taking to the water in canoes. This is not a sport you can experience without the equipment, training and supervision of a qualified team, but Bridgend Canoe Club is delivering that and some, and is one of the latest beneficiaries of a Community Chest grant thanks to their collaboration with Club-links

    It is hard to measure the benefits of something like a canoe club, but the benefits are clearly huge. Bridgend Canoe Club captures them all, an organisation punching above its weight in terms of the opportunities they offer local people, including the opportunity to progress in the sport. They have seven members who’ve gone on to compete for the region and their country, including three children in the GB canoe polo development squad, and one in the Welsh slalom development squad.

    “I started canoeing when I was 11 years old and it made my childhood amazing. As an adult I wanted to give that opportunity to others,” says Lindsey Muller, the club’s chair. “You are not only learning a skill in a safe environment, but learning how to work as a team, be persistent and resilient. They are great life skills. And you're part of an amazing friendship group. I want to give those opportunities to as many children as possible.”

    Managing a canoe club like this one, though, costs money (think equipment, insurance, training). With support from Bridgend County Borough Council and Halo under the Club-links banner, the club secured £1,500 Community Chest funding which, among other things, enabled first aid training for 12 of the team and, crucially deliver an accessible pool to river training programme which has already attracted eight new members. While the pool’s used for teaching introductory and basic skills, Ogmore river is their base for river paddling and slalom. 

    “All the children who come here, whether they want to compete or not, beam with happiness when they're on the water," says Lindsey. "They are not only having fun, but learning about this sport, and learning a lot about themselves too.”

    If you'd like to find out more visit the club's site at www.bridgendcanoeclub.org.
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4. Connecting you with volunteers

As well as supporting local community sports clubs via Club-links, Halo supports many of the county’s future sporting stars through the Halo Sport Foundation. Club-links offers the chance to connect our registered clubs with our talented sports people, in order to offer mutually beneficial volunteer opportunities.
Email: ryan.statton@haloleisure.org.uk to discuss potential volunteer opportunities.

Background

One minute reads

Check in to our one-minute must-reads from people working in sports clubs for others like them.
The benefits of sport for Under 11s

A lot of parents take their youngsters to local sports clubs because they love the sport, and want to share that love with their kids. Not a bad reason at all. Children who grew up playing sport with their parents (even if said parents are on the sideline) grow in confidence, and so does the relationship. But many parents we meet don’t imagine the other benefits a sports club can bring, and it’s worth sharing them in any marketing and recruitment campaigns.

Here’s my top 5:
  1. It offers the chance to socialise outside school, and children really benefit from a structured, supervised and fun activity and the teamwork, citizenship and respect for the local community it promotes. Clubs have told me this is especially important if kids find more casual friendships difficult or have little opportunity to go out to play after school (because of where they live, or because they have young caring responsibilities at home). It’s worth thinking about how your club can attract those harder to reach kids, perhaps via buddy schemes and positive marketing campaigns through local schools.
  2. It builds social skills via the interaction with other kids and adults (coaches and sports officials).
  3. It builds self esteems as children learn to trust their own abilities, to listen to and respond to training and constructive criticism, and receive encouragement and praise (and learn to give it to other children too).
  4. It gives them skills that not only benefit them when they’re with the club, but also in school. Skills like problem solving, self discipline, turn taking and leadership.
  5. Last but not least, it is good for their physical and mental health. We know those who exercise as children are more likely to carry on exercising as young adults.
5 things your volunteers need to know

Long gone are the days when volunteering at a sports club was all about doing the club a favour. Today the benefits are reciprocal and plenty, and it’s worth knowing them if you’re scouting round for new volunteers to join your club. Put away the desperate pleas for help, and promote what your club has to offer.

That can include:
  1. Training opportunities. Let people know what skills you’re looking for and what training you offer.
  2. Skills development (which can be brilliant for the CV). This includes not only soft skills (like confidence), but transferable skills like budgeting and event management.
  3. Social networks. Invaluable for people, including parents, who are new to the area and looking to forge links with like minded people. Mention your social events when you make your appeal.
  4. Recognition. Volunteers are, we all know, the heroes of sport. Local clubs wouldn’t exist without them, and aspiring athletes would be held back as a result. Loads of clubs have awards that recognise supporters. That can, in turn, attract more volunteers.
  5. Satisfaction. Being part of something that makes a difference enriches everyone involved.

who is halo?

“Creating Healthier Communities”
HALO is the award-winning social enterprise that works in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council to manage leisure centres (including indoor and outdoor courts, pitches and halls) across the county. Club-links is our newest exciting initiative to promote and develop sport in this region.

As a social enterprise we plough every penny of profit back into the work we do to create healthier communities. Since taking on this wonderful role in Bridgend (in 2012) we’ve invested millions in the facilities and seen the stunning work clubs like yours do to promote good health and fitness and community cohesion.

The Halo Sport Foundation offers funding and free training opportunities to aspiring athletes across Bridgend County.
You can find out more here.
Halo Sport Foundation

You can see all the clubs who use our facilities across the year

They benefit from easy, affordable booking, and all the facilities (libraries, cafe, gyms, spas and more) at our centres.

Clubs at Halo Centres

We also work with Sport Wales on campaigns, funding initiatives & events

We have partnered with them on the health assessment as a way of identifying the support clubs like yours need, offering help where we can.

If you have athletes in your club who might benefit check out the application process and eligibility criteria at www.halosportfoundation.co.uk.

VISIT US TODAY!

For more information about Halo and the facilities here in Bridgend County visit our website

VISIT OUR SITE

CONTACT CLUB-LINKS

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Ryan Statton

Communities Co-ordinator & Club-Links Lead

Ryan Statton is Halo's Active Communities Co-ordinator and Club-Links Lead.

Email: ryan.statton@haloleisure.org.uk
Tel: 01656 678847