scottishathletics has brought more than 3000 people to the sport over the past 12 months under the recruitment scheme, the NVT Club Together programme.
And around 2500 of those athletes, volunteers, coaches and officials have been retained – with just two out of 134 new officials dropping out.
It is all happening via our NVT Club Together programme, which was launched early in 2012 and saw an initial 17 club projects begin including well-known names like Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, Central AC, Kilmarnock Harriers, Pitreavie AAC and Shettleston Harriers.
Over the past 12 months, a second wave of clubs has been joining the NVT Club Together project to employ a part-time ‘recruitment officer’ geared at enticing athletes in the sport and recruiting volunteers, coaches and officials in order to cope with greater capacities at clubs.
The scheme now stretches the length and breadth of Scotland with recent additions including Inverclyde in the west, Fife AC in the east and Orkney, Shetland and Fraserburgh in Grampian and the islands.
Mark Munro, Head of Development, has driven the project from the outset.
‘The formula for success is key and for us that has first and foremost proved to be a club committee that is open to change and willing to adopt a clear vision of where they want to go,’ said Mark.
‘Then you need the rest of the club to buy into that vision, the appointment of a proactive NVT Club Together officer and strong support from the local partner (local authority and/or trust) as well as the scottishathletics Regional Manager.
‘If we can ensure these building blocks are in place from the start then I really believe you are halfway there in terms of transforming a club . . .
‘After that, well, there are X factors at play like the welcome supplied by existing members when someone comes along for the first time; the excitement generated by big events like the Olympics, Glasgow 2014, the Diamond League; or local networks like friends-of-friends or club-school links.
‘It can come down to something as simple as someone offering an invitation – with Club Together designed to ensure clubs can cope with increased capacities via their coaching structure, more volunteers, more available training sessions and that kind of thing. It all helps.’
It has recently been announced that that funding had been secured for a further two years from sportscotland through their Direct Club Investment programme.
Munro credits clubs across the length and breadth of Scotland for the success of the programme thus far.
‘A great deal of credit must go to the club committees and club ‘line-managers’ who are supporting the CTOs and embracing change,’ he added.
‘Sometimes it is not easy and there are challenges. It’s not all plain sailing but the results definitely appear to be worth it.
‘The smallest overall growth (new recruits added and then retained) in a club that we have seen over the two years has been 31%. And then we have clubs like Shettleston Harriers (258%), Law and District AAC (184), Kilmarnock Harriers (159%), Dundee Hawkhill Harriers (99%) and Arbroath & District AC (101%) – these are quite amazing figures.
‘If you then add to that examples of good practice, such as the new Falkirk Victoria Harriers club database which is quite outstanding, and other case study examples, like clubs adding an extra night of training, then we really do start to create something special.’
In the first two years, £315,000 has been invested directly into the clubs at a local level which includes funding from scottishathletics and sportscotland, local authorities and leisure trusts and the clubs themselves.
*Members can study a table of figures in the current edition of PB magazine.
CLUBS INVOLVED IN NVT CLUB TOGETHER PROGRAMME: Original clubs – Aberdeen AAC, Arbroath & District AC, Central AC, Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, Falkirk Victoria Harriers, Gala Harriers, Garscube Harriers, Giffnock North AAC, Kilbarchan AC, Kilmarnock Harriers and AC, Lasswade AC, Law and District AAC, Pitreavie AAC, Shettleston Harriers, Victoria Park City of Glasgow AC and Whitemoss AAC
New additions in past 12 months – Fife AC, Forth Valley Flyers (Para), Ayr Seaforth AC, Inverclyde AC, Livingston and District AAC, Team East Lothian, Shetland AAC, Orkney AC and Fraserburgh RC.
CLUB DEVELOPMENT SUPPORT FOR ALL: Clubs who are not in the NVT Club Together programme can also benefit from a significant number of club development opportunities that are available from scottishathletics. Browse the Club Support section of this website to find out more about these programmes, which include club leaders workshops and resources, parent workshops, event group club coaching visits from National Coach Mentors, U12 coach development workshops, general mentoring, national event coach days and national coaching weekends.
You can also contact your Regional Development Manager for more information.