Recruiting and Retaining Members

Attracting new members and retaining existing ones is the most common challenge faced by sports clubs, due to changes in lifestyle and the number of alternatives now available for someone looking to become fit and active.

To overcome these challenges, and stand out from these competitors, it is important that clubs truly understand their members so that they can offer a service which meets their wants and needs. It is important for clubs to bear in mind that the club exists for, and because of, the members, players and participants of the club.

People participate in sport for different reasons. Once a club identifies and understands these motivations, they can us this knowledge to begin to build a positive club environment and therefore experience. By providing this positive experience you will give your existing members a reason to keep coming back, as well as attracting potential new members through word of mouth.


What does participant experience mean?

The feelings, emotions a participant experiences when they are attending your club as a member.

How do I recruit new members?

Put yourself in their shoes, why don’t you think about the consumer journey – how easy is it for people to find information on your club? Is there a process in place in order to ensure new members are welcomed into a comforting environment? Is there someone that can meet them and introduce them to the coach?

For more information on how to market your club see our marketing section

How do I retain my members?

Continually ask for feedback, it may help us to continually develop and shape the offer to ensure that the service is member-led. You could use club views, a club feedback tool from Club Matters or you could develop your own using Survey Monkey or another online survey platform. Think about making your offer as attractive as possible, there is lots of competition out there now which encourages us to market it effectively not just to recruit new members but to keep them there! Click here for some ideas of how you can keep club members engaged.

How do I motivate young people to take part in my club?

There are a number of things that will motvate young people to take part n sport or physical activity. The video below by UK Coaching highlights some key areas to think about.

How do I create a positive club environment?

Think about a potential new members first interaction with your club. Most often, people will search the internet when considering a new club.

Make sure your club’s online information is easy to find, up to date and engaging.

When a participant is attending for the first time, make sure they have all the relevant information so that they can find the club premises easily.

Create a welcoming environment by ensuring somebody is on hand to greet them and make them feel valued on arrival and help them integrate them into the group.

Make sure the session is suitable for their level and consult them afterwards to ensure they enjoyed themselves and had a positive experience.

Ensure that your website and social media accounts promote a positive image of your club.

Having a social area at your club could also be beneficial, this will allow people to feel comfortable socialising when they are not participating in activity.

Displaying your club code of conduct will also promote a positive image as it will remind members of the behaviour that is expected of them while at your club. 

Visit our local resources and download our Club Checklist as a prompt here

How do I make my club sessions unmissable?

By running sessions that are inspiring and in the right environment, you can make your sessions attractive to young people. take a look at the below video put together by UK Coaching

How do we link and work with specific groups in society? i.e. people with dementia, disability groups and the inactive

Think Active can provide advice and guidanceon helping your club to be more confident around supporting members with mental health difficulties or on becoming dementia friendly – find out more here.

Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA) support a wide variety of community groups and voluntary groups, partnerships, forums and work with specific groups. We can therefore advise on whom and how to make links and start to build relationships.

You can also get further support in helping your club to be more inclusive by visiting the following websites:

Top SportsAbility  –

Activity Alliance –

How do we access training to help us work with different groups?

Springfield Mind is able to offer Mental Health Awareness in Sport and Physical Activity workshops, contact for more information.

Uk Coaching offer a range of workshops and online courses on coaching different groups, visit

Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA) run a variety of training, has training associates and can signpost to specialised training opportunities.

If you haven’t found the answer to your question above, please complete the below form and we will get back to you shortly.