Setting up a new running club

Advice

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16/08/2012 at 12:11

Next Monday I’m attending the first meeting to set up a new running club in the South Wales Valley’s (Ogmore Vale / Nantymoel to be precise). Our nearest clubs are Brackla Harriers and Bridgend AC which are 8-10 miles away. Obviously it’s in the extremely early stages and initially I think the plan is just to see how many turn up to the open meeting, arranging to train together, and entering some races together. We have about 40 people interested but we’ll see how many actually turn up. The plan is to take it further and become an official club in the future if enough people are genuinely interested and willing to help out.

Just wondering if anyone has any advice for us in our longer term goal of establishing an ‘official running club’. I also have a few questions…

  1. Does every running club have to have it’s own running track? (I ask this because we wouldn’t and the main base for training is likely to be some playing fields which has a path around it measuring approx 0.5 miles)
  2. Do you have to have a qualified ‘expert’ to train members?
  3. Would it be possible for us to enter the Gwent Cross County League without being an official club? How do we go about entering?
  4. Is there normally funding available or is the only income from membership fees?
  5. How much time is taken up being a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer for a running club (I appreciate this obviously depends on size of club / number of members but just a ballpark figure – would it be feasible for someone working full time to do)?

There’s probably loads more questions which I’ll post when I think of them. Would be really helpful if anyone could advise so we can establish from the outset if setting up an official club is realistic or not.

If anyone reading this lives locally and would like to attend – the meeting is at the Berwyn Centre, Nantymoel at 6.30pm on Monday 20th August. Also would be great if there’s any Brackla Harriers / Bridgend AC members that would like to attend and offer their expertise / suggestions.

cougie    pirate
16/08/2012 at 12:42

This has been asked a few times - try using the search function to check out the answers ? 

 

1. No

2. Depends ?

3. Not sure

4. Pretty sure you'll need to fund yourselves - certainly to start with. Funding may be available - but what are you using it for ? 

5. You do need plenty of keen volunteers. Being a secretary for a sports club is a pain in the bum but you can do it and work full time and train. Plenty of people want the benefits, but few are prepared to help out with roles like this. 

 

Good luck !

16/08/2012 at 13:04

Does every running club have to have it’s own running track?

No.

Do you have to have a qualified ‘expert’ to train members?

Depends - we don't, but we don't 'train' members, we give them guidance from our experience (and picking the brains of the forum )

Would it be possible for us to enter the Gwent Cross County League without being an official club?

Depends what you mean by 'official' club.  You can form a club, have a charter, collect fees, etc., that makes you an official club.  To enter the cross country league I think you will also need to be affiliated to UKA (via Welsh Athletics).

Is there normally funding available or is the only income from membership fees?

As far as I am aware, it has to come from membership fees.

How much time is taken up being a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer for a running club?

I'm Secretary and work full-time.  Really not all that much to it!

16/08/2012 at 14:10
  1. Does every running club have to have it’s own running track? No, some big clubs don't even have a track.
  2. Do you have to have a qualified ‘expert’ to train members? No, but it's a good idea to put someone through a UKA coaching qualification. You will need some qualified coaches for some purposes. If you are possibly looking at competiting in track and field leagues it is also a good idea to get some people qualified as track or field officials.
  3. Would it be possible for us to enter the Gwent Cross County League without being an official club? How do we go about entering? Contact the league secretary. You will need to do everything to be a UKA registered club first though I expect.
  4. Is there normally funding available or is the only income from membership fees? Mostly fees. There are grants available for sports clubs from various sources, so it is worth search for these and taking time to apply.
  5. How much time is taken up being a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer for a running club (I appreciate this obviously depends on size of club / number of members but just a ballpark figure – would it be feasible for someone working full time to do)? couple of hours probably except for when the membership forms and fees and England Athletics licence fees are due. If have good system in place should be easy enough.
16/08/2012 at 14:14

I'm not an expert on funding but I do know that our club gets funding from the local council, ostensibly for organising local events, e.g. schools XC.  So I would certainly get in touch with the council to see if they can offer anything.

16/08/2012 at 18:23
  1. No.  We train in the hills in the summer and on the streets in the winter, or road/off road with head torches
  2. No, you can just a group who runs.  We sometimes take in it turns to do sessions etc but generally we just run
  3. Don't know - email them and ask
  4. What do you want funding for?  Its costs nothing to be an unaffiliated club and only a small amount to be one (might be different if you have juniors).  We don't have juniors and don't do any fundraising etc.  We charge £15 a year membership and there's usually enough money left over to subsidise a bus or two to local races.  As soon as you have a lot of money involved things get complicated.  I turned down the offer of sponsorship recently because we simply don't need any money!
  5. I am Chair of my running club and have been for the last three years.  I work full time, am a mother and train 50 miles per week.  It doesn't take much time!   The most time is spent arranging the Christmas party!

My suggestion would be to set up a casual group of people who run and let it evolve naturally, taking steps to become affiliated as and when you feel the time is right.

Good luck!

16/08/2012 at 18:43

I think that you would need to consider insurance to cover your members in case of accidents. I presume this could be taken out of the membership fees.

16/08/2012 at 19:06

Ledgend, what makes you want to set a club up, rather than just be a bunch of pals who just happen to run together?

Once you start to try and become an official club you'll be party to all manner of bureaucracy. And you'll have to be a lot more regimented and accurate than your spelling of your username shows....

17/08/2012 at 10:35
Stevie G . wrote (see)

Once you start to try and become an official club you'll be party to all manner of bureaucracy. And you'll have to be a lot more regimented and accurate than your spelling of your username shows....

I don't think that is true - we don't have any beurocracy to deal with.  The only 'official body' we deal with is England Athletics, and you do all registration of members, etc., on line and send them a cheque once a year.

We used to be also affiliated to our county AAA, but saw no benefit as we weren't doing the cross country.  Again, a simple process, with a cheque once a year.

One benefit of being affiliated to UKA is that you get a guaranteed entry (or more than one, depending on member numbers) to the London Marathon.

seren nos    pirate
17/08/2012 at 10:40

ledgend a couple of clubs have set up recently in the valleys.......Poontypool set one up and compete in the local liesure leagues and cross country..........they are affiliated to welsh athletics which covers the insurance.......

you could contact them for advice

17/08/2012 at 12:01

Agree with all Wilkie says above.  My club works like a dream and we aim to keep it relaxed and friendly - that's what we're about. 

 

17/08/2012 at 12:27

Thanks for the replies so far. Sounds good that a club doesn't need a track / experts so we could progress to an affliated club if that's what people want.

Stevie G - It's very early stages and to start with it will just be a load of mates running together and possibly thats all it'll be. Just asking some questions in advance to see if it would be possible given our limited facilities. As for the username - it's a joke as a mate did me a stag t-shirt which he spelt ledgend instead of legend. I could ask why you've gone for a space and full stop after your username but I'm not that bothered by it.

Back to the more helpful responses - my question about funding was only because a couple of other people who are attending the meeting on Monday have suggested we could have funding. It wasn't something I thought was available.

Anyway - I'll let you know how it goes and feel free to contribute with any other advice. Thanks

17/08/2012 at 15:56

1. No you don't need a running track to form a club, many clubs only compete on the road or country and never set foot on a track.

2. Not sure.

3. To compete in the Gwent League you will have to be a registered club with Welsh Athletics, all runners must be first claim and you will also need to have a registered team strip.

4. I suspect you would only qualify for funding once a club was officially formed and affiliated to the governing body.

5. Time taken up by officials will vary depending on how big the club membership gets and what events, leagues you enter or races you organise.

I know they are a few miles away but why not join either Bridgend AC or Brackla Harriers. You don't have to take part in all of their training sessions and you will benefit from their expertese and coaching without the hassle of setting up and running a new club.

17/08/2012 at 22:22
Sounds like a good turn out ledgend777.
Is the time and date correct ?
20/08/2012 at 12:33

Aled - yes, time and date is correct. Berwyn Centre Nantymoel at 6.30pm tonight (Mon 20th Aug). Can't guarentee it'll be a good turn out though. 40 odd people have 'joined' the facebook group over the past 10 days or so, but how many will turn up is another thing.

Scabbie - thanks for the reply. If nothing comes of this and no one is fussed on setting up an official club then I'll definitely consider joining one of the local other clubs as it's something I've been considering for a while.

 

20/08/2012 at 18:36

Good luck Ledgend

21/08/2012 at 12:25

First meeting went very well. Only about 16 there out of the now 60 odd we have as 'members' on the facebook page.

Turned out they were very keen to get things going. Already got our name, working on a logo, chosen team colours, entered a team in the Cardiff 10k, and arranged when our training sessions are going to be and what they will involve. Just need some volunteers for officers now and we'll be able to fill in the relevant forms and get affiliated.

First training session tonight. Looks like you'll be seeing the Cwm Ogwr Running Club at South Wales events very soon.

and

21/08/2012 at 12:25

First meeting went very well. Only about 16 there out of the now 60 odd we have as 'members' on the facebook page.

Turned out they were very keen to get things going. Already got our name, working on a logo, chosen team colours, entered a team in the Cardiff 10k, and arranged when our training sessions are going to be and what they will involve. Just need some volunteers for officers now and we'll be able to fill in the relevant forms and get affiliated.

First training session tonight. Looks like you'll be seeing the Cwm Ogwr Running Club at South Wales events very soon.

and yes

21/08/2012 at 12:25

First meeting went very well. Only about 16 there out of the now 60 odd we have as 'members' on the facebook page.

Turned out they were very keen to get things going. Already got our name, working on a logo, chosen team colours, entered a team in the Cardiff 10k, and arranged when our training sessions are going to be and what they will involve. Just need some volunteers for officers now and we'll be able to fill in the relevant forms and get affiliated.

First training session tonight. Looks like you'll be seeing the Cwm Ogwr Running Club at South Wales events very soon.

and yes... I

21/08/2012 at 12:25

First meeting went very well. Only about 16 there out of the now 60 odd we have as 'members' on the facebook page.

Turned out they were very keen to get things going. Already got our name, working on a logo, chosen team colours, entered a team in the Cardiff 10k, and arranged when our training sessions are going to be and what they will involve. Just need some volunteers for officers now and we'll be able to fill in the relevant forms and get affiliated.

First training session tonight. Looks like you'll be seeing the Cwm Ogwr Running Club at South Wales events very soon.

and yes... I've

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