5 ways to effectively increase participation at sports clubs

The benefits of sports participation for the public has been widely documented. Sports can provide individuals the necessary exercise to improve their physical as well as mental well being. Despite this, just like other things in life, many feel apprehensive to try a new sport for a range of reasons. As a sports club, you don’t want this to be the case. You want everyone to experience a sport provided for by the club and enjoy the facilities that come with a membership. To reverse this trend, has complied five ways to effectively increase participation at sports clubs.


One of the most effective ways to get people through your doors is by offering free trials. This can be achieved in several ways. Offering free passes ranging from a day to a whole week, will allow individuals to fully experience your sports club/venue without having to pay for it. A more personalised approach could be to book tours as and when you get an inquiry. Another method would be to create one or two weekly classes hosted by a professional coach/mentor specifically for those looking to join. This will allow them find out more about the sports in terms of rules and how to properly play it.

Social Media

It’s highly recommended that your sport club has a presence on social media platforms. Doing so, will widen your reach to a range of demographics. Social media can be used to highlight any trials you may be offering. Moreover, with social media’s ability to host visual content – it can be used to showcase your staff, venue and facilities. It also provides greater exposure for any offers, discounts or deal you may be offering. Social media is also a great medium for prospective members to contact you with any query’s or provide valuable feedback to improve your sports club/venue. Not to mention, visitors or permanent members can use social media to post reviews of the club and or classes and facilities, helping to attractive new customers.


Offers are a great way to entice people to come and check out your sports club. Offers such as discounted prices during certain periods of the day or a game for the price of one is an incentive consumers look for. For instance, if your sports club has courts/pitches (tennis, badminton, football, basketball etc), then allowing individuals to rent a space for half the price or giving two sessions for the price of one during off-peak times will help increase popularity and competition with other clubs. Similarly, if someone is on a trial session(s), then provide them with any of the equipment needed for the sports at no cost.

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One of the biggest reasons why some people are skeptical to try something new is because they don’t fully understand how something works. By offering coaching sessions, it will allow individuals to observe and learn from someone who is experienced in the sports they wish to join. Customers who have someone to show them the ropes will therefore trust and listen to their advice and how to ensure they are correctly and safely taking part.

Smaller ways to retain customers

This might not be as obvious but the smaller ways to retain customers are just as important, if not more than other factors when attracting new customers. For example, offer free parking if you can or at least up until a certain amount of time (e.g. one-hour free parking). Keep the price of your food and drinks at a competitive price, so individuals can easily fuel themselves should they feel hungry/thirsty. Furthermore, ensure your staff are friendly and as accommodating as possible and can effectively answer most questions asked. Not to mention, if your club is family friendly, emphasise this – host parenting classes for babies, install a creche and make sure everyone feels welcome.


Increasing interest in your sports club can feel like a difficult task but in reality, it’s pretty simple. Drastic changes are not needed, rather a case of utilising your existing resources and identifying monetary incentives that will create a wider appeal for the general public to consider your sports club/venue.

Photo credit:  Kzenon/Shutterstock 

Feature image credit: Novabosza/Shutterstock 

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