Setting up a club always seems like a daunting task, however, British Wrestling is here to support you. If you already have an existing club or want to set up a new club, there is a way to join British Wrestling and get support in setting up or improving your club.
If you have an existing combat sports club, this will still be useful information to help grow your club. Wrestling is a foundation sport for all combat sport and offers an appropriate strength and conditioning training option for any combat sport participant. It is increasingly popular for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and other combat sports to offer wrestling as part of the wider club offer to develop members.
This page covers a range of guidance on club creation, development and governance including:
In considering setting up a new club it is important to carry out some research to give you a better understanding of how well a new club will be received in the local area.
You can use our club finder to search for other wrestling clubs nearby. If there are other successful and well-attended clubs locally you may want to consider working with them to grow their club. However, you may want to set up your own club even so it would likely be advantageous for you to work together with the local clubs to promote wrestling.
In considering setting up a new club it is likely that you will have had some interest from other people that share your interest in starting a wrestling club. In order to get a greater understanding of the potential local demand a new wrestling club, you should consider doing the following:
- Organise an open meeting to discuss your ideas and publicise it well through the local media, sports centres and other outlets
- For a junior club, talk to the school sports coordinators at the schools in your area
- Publish your ideas in the local media and ask people to get in touch
- Arrange a leaflet drop and ask people to get in touch with you
- Canvass people on the local high street
- Join local groups on social media and ask for interest
Running a club requires time and commitment and having a well thought out plan will help you put in place everything that you need to attract members and secure your clubs future.
Sport England has developed a club development template which can be used to document your club’s vision which can then be shared across other volunteers that play a part in helping to manage and run your club. Visit the ClubMatters website to access this along with many other useful club tools.
British Wrestling offers support for clubs through our Development Manager, Andreas Michealas, who supports clubs to help them grow and develop. Contact him to see what support and advice he can give you in setting up your club.
Club affiliations have become more flexible, we’re looking to expand wrestling and grow to support the wrestling and combat sports community. Below is a link to our club affiliations page with a ‘how-to’ guide to affiliate with us.
The basic documents you need to affiliate as a club are:
- Head Coach:
- BWA 1st4Sport Level 2 in Coaching Wrestling
- Enhanced DBS Check
- Safeguarding Certificate (within 3 years of completing)
- First Aid Certificate (minimum of an emergency first aid at work qualification)
- Full BWA Membership
- Safeguarding Officer:
- Safeguarding Certificate (within 3 years of completing)
- Enhanced DBS Check
Deciding the governance structure that your club will adopt is extremely important and you should take time to discuss your options will all volunteers that will be involved in running the club and possibly your members.
The most common structure adopted by newly formed sports clubs is “unincorporated”. In this structure, members define and shape the club, its purpose and rules which are then set out within a club constitution. The club has no separate legal personality, and the club members are personally liable for the actions or debts of the club.
Whilst some small clubs can manage with just a couple of people running them, it’s usually a good idea to recruit a few people to form a club committee to help manage the club more effectively and efficiently. Roles will vary from club to club depending but it is advisable to have a Welfare Officer, a Treasurer, a Secretary, the club’s head coach and a Chair to oversee the committee’s work.
Whatever structure you decide on it is important to have a governing document that defines how the club will operate. This is usually known as a constitution and examples can be found on ClubMatters. By creating and agreeing to a club constitution you can formally give your club a name, established who is doing what, decide on the vision and goals of the club and outline procedures by which the club is run.
Programmes and Funding
An interesting and enjoyable sporting programme is what attracts and keeps people coming back to a wrestling club. With support from British Wrestling’s Development Team, you can start to put together a programme of sessions to cater for differing skills, ages and abilities and help your wrestlers join to develop and enter competitions. As your club grows you may consider developing a structured player pathway to encourage progression from recreational or novice players to more competitive and experienced levels of play.
Involving Children and Young People
Involving children and young people in decision making, planning and hearing their voices is an important part of creating a safe culture in a club or activity.
British Wrestling work closely with the CPSU who have developed guidance to help your club meet the needs of child safeguarding and provide the relevant tools to involving and listening to a child’s voice within your setting.
Why should wrestling engage with children and young people?
Children and young people have a right to be engaged and to have their say on decisions that will directly affect them.
Involving children and young people is an active process that enables their voice, views and experiences to influence and contribute to appropriate and relevant decision making. The involvement of children and young people shouldn’t be tokenistic.
If your wrestling club or activity is involving young people it should have meaning, or a significance for your organisation for their involvement. Most young people are involved as participants in sport, but many have taken on other roles, as coaches, officials, event organisers, young leaders or other voluntary roles.
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Securing the initial funds to set up a wrestling club can be challenging. Most clubs start off with an initial investment from its founding members. However, clubs will need additional income to help them grow and prosper. These can include:
Membership Fees – A key element to raising income for a wrestling club is establishing a realistic membership pricing scheme that is attractive to potential new members as well as retaining current members. The more members your club has the greater the income generated by membership fees.
Fundraisers – Most clubs run a range of different activities from raffles to quiz nights, merchandise, wrestling competitions to masterclasses to raise money for their club. Get creative and think about what fundraisers your club and run.
Merchandising – Expanding on the fundraisers, merchandising is a key way to engage with your club members. By sourcing and selling club kit you can help members feel part of the club community and show their support whilst also raising vital funds to support the club.
Funding and Grants – Funding for sports clubs is available from a range of national and local sources and can be invaluable for starting new clubs or developing and expanding current clubs. British Wrestling will support clubs to write and submit funding applications, please contact the team via the details below.
Sponsorship – What advertising space is your club able to sell? What arrangements for services in kind can your club negotiate? Think about your club’s commercial potential and start making connections with local business to see what sponsorship you can receive.
You should set up a bank account which will enable the club to receive the income above as well as paying outgoings. These financial records should be maintained by the designated treasurer in the club’s constitution and used to create a realistic budget which will ensure that the club is financially sustainable.
The venue is at the core of any wrestling club. It is where wrestling takes place and where parents, wrestlers and people associated with the club socialise. Do some research to find out what facilities are available in your area that is of a suitable size for wrestling, are accessible and are within your budget to hire or lease for a set period of time.
Local schools, sports centres, sports halls, village halls, universities and colleges other sports clubs are all good places to start when searching for a venue for your wrestling club. You should also consult your local authority/council and Active Partnership (formally known as County Sports Partnership) as they will have knowledge of the facilities in your area.
Once you have successfully sourced a venue you will need to look at Health & Safety and the Duty of Care provisions which the club has to members whilst at the venue. You will also run your own risk assessment of the facility specifically to wrestling. A Template – Wrestling Risk Assessment can be downloaded by clicking the link.
In order to run a wrestling session at your new club, you will need to ensure that there is sufficient equipment available for people to participate.
Check out our partners who support our clubs with discounts for existing and newly set up clubs in our membership portal here.
There are several organisations that should be able to help you start a wrestling club. You should make contact with each of them in the early stages of setting up your wrestling club to find out what practical help they can offer. They are:
Local Authority– The Local Authority are likely to have a sports or leisure department who can assist you in hiring sports facilities where you can run your sessions.
Active Partnerships (formally known as County Sports Partners)– Each county in England has a Sports Partnership responsible for growing sport and physical participant in their areas. There is a wealth of expertise and local knowledge at your County Sports Partnership you can draw on here to help you get off to the best start.
British Wrestling is working in partnership with Sport England’s Club Matters to offer our clubs additional support. For more information please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Club Matters, the essential one-stop-shop for sports clubs, provides support, learning and guidance on all aspects of running a club whether it is large, small, formal or informal. Club Matters offers free, simple and bitesize support to all clubs, more information can be found here.