with Zane Jensen
Sport BOP Regional Facilities Advisor
Back in the good old days every sports club had their own clubroom at their home field, court, pitch or turf.
The game would finish and players, families and supporters would retire back to the clubrooms to socialise for hours afterwards. It was here many friendships grew and there was a strong sense of community and tradition.
As great as those days were, times have changed. Life has become busy, people are working longer hours and more weekends so the ability to spend time after a game at the clubrooms is becoming a thing of the past.
Don’t get me wrong – this still happens, but not to the same extent it once did.
Running and maintaining single-use clubrooms is no easy feat. The cost and manpower needed to keep these buildings thriving is huge and in an environment where volunteers cannot offer the time commitment they once did, the landscape needs to change.
For example, if there is a building used twice a week in the evening and once on a Saturday afternoon, it sits empty for the rest of the week – do you believe the cost and workload needed by volunteers to maintain it is worth it considering its usage?
This is just one of the reasons for the movement towards shared sports hub-type facilities. A lot can be achieved by clubs working together with other sporting clubs who are located in the same park.
Sharing one clubroom across a number of different clubs means the level of commitment required for the physical operation of a building decreases and volunteers can focus their attention towards the actual sport taking place.
Everyone involved in sport wants to see it remain sustainable and ensure it continues to be a vehicle for teaching life lessons to future generations.
Sport Bay of Plenty is committed to supporting clubs through this change in the sport environment, to ensure sport still fits into people’s lives.
Many will argue clubrooms are a way to hold a strong identity, but with creative thinking, this can still remain true in a shared facility.
It is an ‘out of the box’ way of thinking, but once discussions start, everyone quickly sees the benefits of moving towards shared facilities for the survival of their club.