Clubs across the Derbyshire Dales are winners on and off the field of play after taking advantage of a new advice scheme.
Just over a year ago, local sports partners including Derbyshire Dales District Council and Rural Derbyshire School Sports Partnership joined forces to set up the Derbyshire Dales Clubs First project.
Since then, 35 Dales clubs have signed up for advice on funding, coaching, use of social media, creating better links with local schools, disability sport and planning improvement projects.
Around 4,400 people and 660 volunteers participate in clubs registered on the Clubs First programme – and the District Council has worked with each club and helped secure more than £21,000 external funding for development projects.
One of the spin-offs from the project has been a satellite clubs programme, with more than 700 young people involved in new links created between schools across the Derbyshire Dales and their local sports clubs – including netball, cricket, bowls and golf.
Clubs First member Hathersage Cricket Club is a big fan of the project. Coach Kevin Overton said:
"Clubs First gave us some real practical advice through workshops and networking on how we could increase participation, resulting in us making great progress this season – a real solid foundation has been set to move cricket forward in the Hope Valley."
The District Council's Club development Coordinator Alan McGill said:
"The impact of the Clubs First project has exceeded expectations and it's been great to be able to inform and support so many excellent sports clubs that operate in the Derbyshire Dales.
"Funding is a massive issue for many clubs and, though conferences and one-to-one sessions, we have been able to give them an insight into current funding opportunities.
"But the really satisfying element of the project is how more and more Dales clubs are now reaching out into their communities, engaging young people and investing in the future of their organisations."
- More information about Clubs First is available online.