What is a sportsville?
A definition of a Sportsville includes:
‘A partnership between sports clubs/codes and organisations who work in a strategic way with multiple internal and external stakeholders to develop their clubs and codes. This method of operation brings an economy of scale to the costs associated with providing facilities and/or opportunities to accommodate the needs of a community, such as leadership and sharing resources’.
There is a national trend towards shared facilities for sport and recreation clubs, known as ‘sportsville’ or sporting hubs. This is mainly due to the declining membership of clubs, combined with the higher costs to maintain buildings, facilities and other services.
The ‘sportsville’ concept allows community and sporting groups to share facilities, eg changing rooms, fields, administration, social space, meeting rooms etc, which brings economies of scale to the cost of providing and maintaining these facilities.
Research commissioned by Sport NZ identified some sports club partnerships that are very successful. There were a number of factors identified that led to this success:
- The creation of an independent entity that does not require clubs to amalgamate, so they maintain club identity and history
- A focus on strong governance with skilled people to lead the new entity
- A clear purpose and reason for all clubs to want to be involved in a partnership
- Territorial Authorities play a key role in the success of sports club partnerships and where Councils are involved and supportive; the partnerships are more likely to thrive.
The advantages of a sportsville entity include the following (not exclusively):
- Development of the capacity, strength, and financial sustainability of clubs and codes through sharing resources, knowledge, administration, including volunteers, spaces, and experience
- Allows greater focus on player, coaching and club development
- Encourages the development of facilities that are ‘fit for purpose’
- Encourages community values and linkages with schools and other community facilities and organisations eg the development of relationships between clubs and schools, joint tournaments and events, functions etc
- Creates competition by building capacity, new sports programmes and membership numbers
- Helps maintain past traditions and identity
- Encourages clubs and codes to work collaboratively for fundraising
In the past, Council has been proactive in facilitating and supporting clubs with developing proposals and assisting with information, collaborating, networking and other non-financial support on a case by case basis.
However, Council has identified the following hubs as priority sites and Council will focus its resources on these parks:
- Alex Moore Park (Sportsville entity existing)
- Kilbirnie Park (Sportsville entity existing)
- Hataitai Park (needs assessment completed)
- Kelburn Park
- Miramar Park
- Wakefield Park
The Council has set up a feasibility fund to help the planning of sportsville/hub sites:
Sportsville Partnership Feasibility Fund
The Council has identified Sportsville opportunities
The following Council strategies and policies support the hub/‘sportsville’ model approach:
Our Capital Spaces includes a number of statements supporting sports hubs:
"We will prioritise the development of well-located hubs that contain multiple recreational facilities in the same space"
"Where relevant, we will encourage clubs to broaden their community role and/or deepen partnerships with the wider community including businesses"
"... we have identified some priorities for development, and will focus on Hataitai Park, Alex Moore Park, Newlands Park and Wakefield Park. Our intention is to expand this model of multi-use recreational facility across the city”
"... priorities for recreation and sports facilities include: working with the key sporting groups to develop Hataitai Park, Wakefield Park and Alex Moore Park as recreational and sporting hubs"
“Identify opportunities for clubs to amalgamate and share facilities or services”
The Council's Parks, Sports and Recreation (PSR) unit is in the process of developing master plans for both Kilbirnie and Hataitai Parks (a 10-30 year plan).
The Suburban Reserve Management Plan identities both Kilbirnie Park and Miramar Park as requiring development of long-term master plans.
Moving towards a sportsville
There are a number of stages in setting up a sportsville entity.
- Project management – collate background data and identify a need
- Identify a potential sportsville hub – identify the site and clubs
- Engage the clubs – get agreement from the clubs
- Set up the working group – establish term of reference for new entity, elect chair and secretary
- Baseline data – establish measures for success eg increase junior membership numbers, better results/performances, more leaders/coaches, better financial position, or a mixture of these
- The constitution – sets purpose and ground rules to allow all clubs/members to act in partnership
- Register the new entity – establish an Incorporated Society (opposed to Trust)
- Board appointment – appointments panel and recruitment process
- Handover to new entity –transition from Working Group to Sportsville Board