There is nothing quite as quintessentially Kiwi as bringing together communities through sport.
However, throughout the country sports clubs are struggling with a lack of funding, decreasing membership and fewer volunteers which is making the maintenance of community sports clubs increasingly difficult. The effects of the degradation of this core community function can be felt throughout the fabric of our communities as isolation.
In order to address this disconnect we must recognise the regenerative power of play in place making and community engagement.
Over our 40 years of experience we have seen traditional local sports club models shift toward collective spaces. Beyond the building itself, this has brought together communities, across generations and locale. This has empowered communities by providing a key base where people come to meet, to socialise and stay connected.
We have found that the multipurpose sports hub approach creates a number of key benefits in supporting clubs and the wider community by making it easier to:
+ Attract new members
+ Offer new programs
+ Control operational costs by pooling resources
Concerns over budget, design, occupancy are often why clubs delay these changes.
Problem: We want to make changes but lack the funding.
There are a number of models that are useful in utilising to deliver projects. Some include,
+ Co-Design, Co-Invest, Co- Delivery
+ External Funding
+ Management Investor options
+ Public/ Private Partnerships
+ Specialist Corporate Interest
+ Social Enterprise
+ Partner Programming
+ Philanthropic Potential
Problem: How do we kind out what the community wants and engage with their interests?
Through thorough and expansive community engagement. Our team are experts in gauging input from a range of stakeholders with tact and pragmatism. Establishing a benchmark to determine existing community and potential partner expectations and delivering on them begins with this consultation. Some methods can include:
+ Face-to-face survey of potential partners, stakeholders, community representatives and residents.
+ Invite community representatives/stakeholders to form a community liaison group.The community liaison group can assist with engagement and communication activities.
+ Inviting community input in a scenario development roadshow. The roadshow can move between school facility, churches, local shopping centre and other targeted areas
+ Establishing a connected form of communication with community members who have committed to the engagement process