The Club of the Future guide will address the key trends and issues outlined in Game On and will guide South Australian clubs to adapt to current and future needs to ensure they continue to thrive. The Club of the Future guide will support clubs to explore innovative ways to deliver quality experiences, share resources, services and facilities, increase affordability and promote contemporary approaches to volunteering. This will assist clubs to adapt to the needs of current and future generations.

A Club of the Future will be innovative, technology savvy and sustainable, identifying ways to work smarter but not harder. This guide has been developed to challenge current models and support South Australian sport and recreation clubs to recognise areas of future focus to ensure they are demonstrating best practice and meeting the changing needs of the South Australian community.

Four key focus areas have been identified to equip South Australian clubs to adapt their operations for the community now and into the future.

Many sporting clubs are the social focal point for their community, with South Australians increasingly recognising the broader benefits of clubs for their positive contribution towards mental and physical health, crime prevention and social development. People who feel welcome and included are more likely to remain connected to their club and ‘give back’.

Creating a family friendly and inclusive environment will help to establish your club as a community hub. By catering for all ages and abilities, your club is creating positive role modelling for everyone to ‘see it and be it’.

Volunteering gives people a sense of purpose and achievement, improves self-esteem and confidence and helps to combat stress, loneliness, isolation and depression. In addition, it’s a great way to develop skills and potentially create career pathways. Volunteers are the lifeblood of community sport and it’s essential for clubs to reward, recognise and retain them.

Collaborating to share resources, services and facilities is a mechanism for clubs to save money and create efficiencies. This reduces the overall costs of club operations, freeing up funds to invest back into the club and improve the end-user experience. Many facilities are ageing and need investment and clubs are competing for the same funds. A Club of the Future is co-located with other like-minded organisations and maximises its facility use. It also utilises technology to streamline processes and ease the burden on volunteers.

Clubs are encouraged to identify opportunities to increase revenue through innovative means with the goal of long-term financial sustainability. This security will provide assurance to members of the club’s success and future stability. Traditional revenue streams such as sponsorships are being depleted and it’s now time to maximise non-traditional funding sources.