This section of our Development Charter focuses on six key areas that can support clubs/leagues to become safer, stronger and more sustainable:
- Development Planning
- Partner Relationship Building
Given there is another topic currently on everyone’s minds, we have also included an additional section on COVID-19 in order to assist clubs/leagues with navigating through these unprecedented times.
Please head to each section below to find out what support we have on offer or alternatively contact your relationship manager for individual conversations and to guide you further.
Planning forms a vital part of a club or league’s development and our relationship managers are keen to support partners with this. Whether it be the creation of a new plan (which we can help with), looking at specific areas of an existing one or just some informal discussions to answer any questions you might have, we would love to hear from you.
We have our own Development Plan template which links handily to our Development Charter content and can assist clubs/leagues with their planning. We would be happy to provide you with and guide you through this process or we can offer advice/examples to help you improve or create your own.
Our friends over at Sport England have created a brilliant resource called ‘Club Matters’ which has a number of useful tools that link nicely to our Development Charter topics. You can check them out on the Club Matters website.
It is a huge resource so our relationship managers have created a menu of all the resources available so they can advise you what is available to suit. They are also currently offering a variety of virtual workshops on a variety of topics that could well be of interest and we would be happy to do the leg work and organise some specifically for our clubs.
If any of the above sounds useful to you or your organisation, then get in touch with your relationship manager for more info!
'Governance' refers to the rules and regulations used to run a club or league. It is a key factor in an organisation’s ability to run effectively and safely. The areas involved include planning for the future, setting your organisational values, financial controls, policies and decision making. These tasks often fall on volunteers from within our playing community, and this guide is designed to support those involved with the necessary tools and resources.
Our relationship managers can support you with:
Building effective committees – Whether it’s advising on potential club structures, role descriptions for committee members, or an introduction to a club or league with a similar approach, your Relationship Manager can support you in building a strong team.
Protecting your organisation and players through clear policies and procedures – We can provide you with templates for constitutions, advice on good practice, and share BaseballSoftballUK policies and procedures for your organisation to adopt and keep your membership safe.
Identifying and managing risks associated with operating your club/league - An important part of the long-term sustainability planning. Your relationship manager can provide you with a risk register template, help you identify any major risks involved in operating your organisation and help create plans to mitigate against them.
Answering your affiliation and insurance questions – We are developing a Frequently Asked Questions resource to try and help all of your insurance related enquiries. You can also find some general information on BaseballSoftballUK and the British Softball Federation’s insurance in the Insurance section of our website or contact your relationship manager for more information. For queries about baseball insurance policies, please refer to the baseball governing body that your club affiliates to, as insurance is handled directly by them.
Safeguarding is a vital service that BaseballSoftballUK provides for the British Softball Federation and their membership. We are pleased to now also offer this support to all independent clubs and leagues in the UK through our Development Charter if the following requirements are being worked towards.
For those organisations working towards complying with these requirements, BaseballSoftballUK will support your efforts through training, administration, the provision of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, advice and guidance. Provided there is a demonstrable willingness and commitment to implementation, these requirements are not expected to be in place prior to chartering.
Our clubs and leagues are at the heart of people’s experience of playing baseball and softball – coaching, facilities and competition are all centred around them. Over 10 million adults in England play sport in a club or league environment – and the roles performed by volunteers are vital to the success of our clubs and our sports. It is in the interest of our sports to ensure that volunteers are supported in their roles and given the recognition and respect their commitment deserves.
Through the Development Charter resources we will provide support and guidance to volunteers and to the clubs, teams, leagues and organisations in which they volunteer. Whether it is an example role description you are after, tips on recruiting or keeping volunteers, or ways of developing them our relationship managers are happy to advise.
Why pitch in and volunteer?
Volunteering can be a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, gain valuable experience, and hopefully have fun along the way! There are lots of benefits to pitching in:
- Building self-esteem and confidence
- Learning and developing new skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork
- Getting great work experience and boosting your CV
- Being active and improving your health and well-being
- Meeting new people and broadening your social network
- Making a difference and putting something back into the community in which you live, work or study
- Having fun!
The opportunities to get involved are many and varied. There could be opportunities in your local club or league, or through organising baseball or softball where you work or study. Get in touch with your region’s relationship manager for ideas and introductions if you are keen to get involved.
All organisations need an effective communications plan; this is no different for your baseball or softball league, club or team. The effectiveness of your communications both visually and in writing will directly influence player recruitment, fundraising, game attendance and more. This section of the Development Charter focuses on how to improve your organisation’s communications, including methodology, tips and data protection advice.
The most effective method of communication will depend on the message you want to communicate. Different channels have different strengths and weaknesses and there is a need to consider the most effective way for each message based on various factors. Potential methods include:
- Newsletters (i.e. Mailchimp, Constant Contact)
- Social Media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
- Offline/Word of Mouth
- Printed materials including flyers and posters
- Public relations and media engagement
Your relationship manager can help you form a communication strategy and decide which methods of communication to focus on.
Tips and guidance
We can signpost you to a range of resources including social media tips, online safety advice, website design, content tips, electronic newsletter tips. Please get in touch with your relationship manager to discuss any specific help you may need for your organisation.
When communicating with members of your organisation it is important that your officials are aware of the legal guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information, known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). GDPR came into effect across the European Union on 25 May 2018 and applies to all business and organisations.
While the UK fully leaves the EU on 31 December 2020, it is expected that GDPR will continue to apply in the United Kingdom, so please review and make sure you understand the rules and regulations.
A good starting point for understanding data protection and handling is the GDPR Toolkit for sports clubs and leagues put together by the Sport & Recreation Alliance. Additionally, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has a range of data protection templates, advice, and guidance, and can be accessed here.
For most community sports organisations, partnerships and collaboration with other sports and leisure organisations - either locally or more widely - are crucial for them to offer the services they do and to grow. The world of sports development can seem a complex picture which is why our Development Charter contains the following to help clubs and leagues navigate their way through.
Guides to Sports Development Organisations and Programmes - Examples of national and regional bodies, what they do and how they could help you or your organisation.
Guide to BaseballSoftballUK Programmes - A simple and easy to use guide to the development programmes that BaseballSoftballUK operates. A short introduction to the various programmes that your club or league may wish to get involved or link to.
Introductions to relevant contacts - We will be happy to help facilitate introductions to relevant contacts within the wider sports development world or share examples of where partnership working has helped for other clubs/leagues.
To request any of the above, please get in touch with your relationship manager to discuss further.
Your BaseballSoftballUK relationship managers
- London and East – Jayde Ellis
- South East – Colin Barrett
- Midlands and South West – Leah Holmes
- North – Luis Arrevillagas
- Wales and Scotland – Chris Rawlings
- Fastpitch Softball (regardless of region) – Alyson Spinas-Valainis
We look forward to hearing from you!