Grassroots and community

Grassroots sports clubs, projects, charities, and community organisations are the lifeblood of sport and recreation across the country.

They help people maintain healthy, active lifestyles and are often the launchpad for future elite success.

Not only that, they serve as invaluable social hubs within their communities, bringing people together and providing opportunities to participate in sport and to learn new skills.

Many of these organisations are doing brilliant work in a tough economic environment and the Sport and Recreation Alliance works to ensure both national and local policies help the grassroots to flourish.

In particular we:

  • Provide support and advice to National Governing Bodies on the Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) scheme
  • Engage with Government and other stakeholders to ensure a clear strategy for PE and school sport, see the tab below.
  • Provide advice and guidance to National Governing Bodies on issues affecting grassroots sports clubs such as music and alcohol licensing, see the tab below.
  • Support initiatives to get more people volunteering in sport and to recognise the wider value this bring, see the tab below.
  • Engage with Government (at both national and local level) and arm’s length bodies to encourage the provision of accessible, affordable and high quality sports facilities.

Safeguarding children and adults who participate in sport and physical activity at all levels is crucial. Safeguarding refers to the process of protecting children and adults to provide safe and effective care. This includes all procedures designed to prevent harm. You can find out more about safeguarding information and resources here.

The experiences we have at a young age shape our attitudes and habits for life.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance want to help children and young people connect with sport and physical activity, so that they are equipped, motivated and inspired to stay active for life.

The solid foundations should be laid at primary school. 

During PE lessons, every pupil should be equipped with the basic physical skills which empower students to take part in sport and stay active for life.

Throughout their school life young people should be offered a range of physical activities. This should be both traditional and non-traditional, competitive and non-competitive.

Teachers must be supported and trained to deliver PE across the ages.

Physical activity should be utilised by schools as a tool to enhance self-development and academic achievement in young people.

Schools should make close links with the community, sharing facilities and also providing routes to clubs so that children and young people can continue to participate in their local area.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance continues to make the case that we should aim for nothing less than the world’s best PE and school sport framework.

Grassroots sports clubs and community organisations very often have bars and run events to help raise much-needed funds to support the provision of sport and club facilities.

Where clubs sell alcohol or play music, they may need to ensure they have appropriate licenses to do so.

Music licensing

Clubs often play music for background purposes, at events or classes (such as fitness and dance), or on a communal TV or other device. Where music is played in public, the club will need to have a licence to do so.

Music licenses are administered by PRS for Music and PPL who issue licenses and collect fees on behalf of copyright owners. In most cases a club will require a licence from both PRS for Music and PPL but whatever the circumstances, it is the responsibility of the club to assess whether it has an appropriate licence.

In order to simplify arrangements for grassroots sports clubs, PPL operates a joint licence with PRS for Music for eligible amateur sports clubs. More information on this joint licence can be found here.

If your club is not eligible for a joint licence you will need to contact PRS for Music and PPL to determine the most appropriate licence for your club.

Alcohol licensing

Many sports clubs and community organisations operate bars which generate essential revenue to support their activities.

Where a club operates a bar it must ensure it has an appropriate licence to do so. Alcohol licenses are issued by a licensing authority, in most cases the relevant local council. Detailed guidance on alcohol licensing, including information on how to apply for a licence, can be found here.

With 3.2m volunteers across the country, volunteering in sport is the biggest single sector (approximately 20%). This makes sport volunteering worth £53bn.

According to the 2013 Sports Club Survey, the typical club relies on an average of 24 volunteers to function and makes an average surplus of just over £1000 – a very small amount to reinvest into our grassroots community sport and recreation clubs.

Volunteers not only provide an invaluable resource but they also benefit from taking part. Volunteering can improve people’s wellbeing, get them active and combat social isolation. It can also help individual’s gain valuable skills and act as a route into employment.

In partnership with our members we work to ensure government policy makes life easier for volunteers. For more information on our work supporting volunteers see our Red Card to Red Tape report.