Capable Clubs Programme

A major part of the Squash Auckland Strategic Plan focuses on ‘Club and Facility Support’.  In order to assist clubs achieve these outcomes, Squash Auckland are partnering with affiliated clubs to trial a Club Capability Programme. 

The aim of the programme is to enable Squash Auckland to work closely with two willing clubs in a number of identified areas, and to create a set of tools and best practice guides that fit our specific Auckland region which will eventually be made available to all Squash Auckland clubs.   As well as working closely and hands-on with two specific clubs, Squash Auckland will also provide resources and assistance with other clubs in one or two areas (maximum), where help is identified as being required upon completion and review of the self-assessment survey. 

The end result is being able to assist Auckland clubs achieve in the areas of long term membership and financial growth, with welcoming facilities, sustainable programmes, and a systematic approach to management. 

We have now released Version 1 of the Capable Clubs Programme Workbook that clubs are able to follow through at their own pace with their committee members and administrators.  Please contact us if your club is interested in working through some or all of the programme and we can assist you to get started and provide all the necessary resources.  


Six Targeted Areas for Improved Club Capability & Membership Growth

MEMBERSHIP (Modernising Membership Models)
Advice and guidance on member recruitment and retention that would include incentives and suggestions on alternative membership models and payment options. 

  • Membership models (types and payment options)
  • Simple sign-up processes
  • Welcome Packs
  • Buddy System
  • Relevant programmes
  • Membership Recruitment Plan

Assistance with setting up targeted programmes to attract new players to the club, and engagement with the regional coach to create contacts and links with the local schools and community groups

  • Creating opportunities for new players (junior and senior)
  • Programmes to retain existing members
  • Upskilling volunteer club coaches

Is your club operating on a professional basis?  Guidance, support and training to help recruit, train and retain a stronger volunteer workforce for now and the sustainable future of squash at your club.   

  • Creating a database of critical club documents using Sport Auckland’s Develop Your Legacy website
  • Getting the right people in Governance
  • Job Descriptions for volunteers/committee members
  • Train committee members
  • Rewarding volunteers

FACILITIES & ACCESS (Unlocking the Potential)
This area covers the physical entry access systems (iSquash), online bookings and membership management systems, online payment and maximising court usage and utilisation.

  • Casual play options
  • Alternative court & facility uses
  • Maintaining facilities and funding improvements

MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION (Markets, Mediums and Messaging)
Develop a professional editable suite of promotional materials that are cost effective and flexible for clubs to use on promoting activities. Also guidance on reaching markets, mediums and messages

  • Annual Communications Plan
  • Promotional material
  • Social media & website
  • Communication with members

Developing a suite of financial planning and reporting templates to ensure financial growth for the club, maximising revenue through membership fees, bar sales, sponsorship, grant funding, and other potential income sources

  • Correctly pricing membership fees for a sustainable club
  • Sourcing and servicing sponsors
  • Budgeting and financial planning
  • Creating funding application templates

All clubs are able to complete the self-assessment survey at any stage using the link below.  We will help clubs review the results and suggest recommendations based on the large pool of resources available, and we will work with the clubs to help them achieve the desired outcomes.

Complete the club self-asssessment survey here​​​​​​​

Capable Clubs Snippet Emails

Beginning on the 8th May 2019, we will be sending out one snippet per fortnight to club committee members.  Each snippet will be one exercise from our complete Capable Clubs Workbook that has been developed over the past two years with our pilot clubs creating a set of useful tips, resources, templates, and case studies specifically designed to assist our squash clubs achieve in the areas of long term membership, financial growth, welcoming facilities, sustainable programmes, and systematic approaches to management. 

While every club will have different areas of strength and weakness, we recommend all clubs read through each snippet and use it as a checklist to ensure their club is giving themselves the best opportunity to have long term sustained success.  

Snippet #1 - Establish a Starting Point & Set Membership Goals
Snippet #2 Creating Opportunities for New Players
Snippet #3 - Social Media & Website
Snippet #4 - Member Satisfaction Survey
Snippet #5 - Reviewing the Membership Model
Snippet #6 - Simple Sign-Up Process
Snippet #7 - Programmes to Retain Existing Members
Snippet #8 - Casual Play Options
Snippet #9 - Job Descriptions for Volunteers & Committee Members
Snippet #10 - Recruiting Volunteers
Snippet #11 - Alternative Court & Facility Uses
Snippet #12 - New Member Welcome Packs
Snippet #13 - Set Up a Buddy System for New Members
Snippet #14 - Annual Communications Plan
Snippet #15 - Annual Marketing Plan
Snippet #16 - Volunteer Recognition
Snippet #17 - Promotional Material
Snippet #18 - Budgeting & Financial Planning
Snippet #19 - Health & Safety Plan
Snippet #20 - Train Committee Members
Snippet #21 - Getting the Right People in Governance
Snippet #22 - Affiliated Club Benefits
Snippet #23 - Creating a Database of Critical Club Documents
Snippet #24 - Sourcing and Service Sponsors
Snippet #25 - Online & Casual Bookings
Snippet #26 - Correctly Pricing Membership Fees
Snippet #27 - Develop a Strategic Plan
Snippet #28 - Creating Funding Application Templates
Snippet #29 - Maintaining Facilities & Funding Improvements
Snippet #30 - Upskilling Volunteer Club Coaches

December 2017

​​​​​​​As we work through the Capable Clubs Work Plan with our two trial clubs, Henderson and Papakura, we will keep this page updated with details on how the programme is progressing, any outcomes achieved (both good and bad), and any suggestions we can make to all clubs based on our learnings so far.  Click on the red text to be taken to a link where you can view or download documents created through the CCP that you may use and implement for your own club.

CCP Timeline 2017

Mid March – first email sent to all clubs explaining the CCP and inviting them to complete the self-assessment survey
Early April – survey closed.  Five fully-completed and one half-completed survey received.  Two clubs selected: 1. Henderson – fully volunteer squash only club (6 courts) and 2. Papakura – part-time paid administrator & tennis club (4 courts)
Mid April – first contact with the clubs to invite them to be part of the pilot programme
Early May – initial meeting with Club President & Secretary to discuss survey results and gather further information to devise Work Plan
Early June – individual meetings at the clubs with the club committee, Tim Marshall (SQAK Chair), Luke Morriss (SNZ), and RST representatives Julie Bennett (Sport Waitakere) and Guy Barton (Counties-Manukau Sport)
Mid July to now – progressing through the Work Plan with the clubs. 

How are we coordinating the CCP?

  • Face-to-face meetings of 1 ½ hours with the clubs approx. every 3-4 weeks and regular email/phone contact
  • Dropbox folders set up to store and edit documents
  • Keeping a meeting log to track progress

CCP Progress, Outcomes & Learnings - Henderson

  • Membership database now current in iSquash - the club now has a current database to easily access member contact details and accurately know the number of members the club has at any given time.

  • Updated club membership form - simplified and streamlined the membership process.  Make joining the club as easy as possible by having an online membership form and ensure you are collecting all relevant information from new members (Henderson Membership Form)

  • Set membership goals for the next five years - targets set in August, already added 29 members and only 12 away from their one year target.  For a club to grow, it needs to set goals.  Setting membership goals in turn will help the club plan in other areas such as financial and facility goals.  This helps a club establish a baseline (starting point), set a five year goal, and work backwards to devise a one year goal and three month goal.  Small steps make the bigger overall goal more achieveable. (Henderson Membership Targets)  

  • Set up Adult Starter coaching programmes - three programmes run in succession with 16 total participants resulting in four new members.  Having participation options are a vital part of any club's offering.  Squash Auckland can assist clubs with funding to get participation programmes up and running, so please contact us!

  • Upgraded the club’s website - new website using NZ website developers Sporty.  Had a club member volunteer take on the role of liaising with Sporty and creating the new, attractive website.  The club member has also taken on the volunteer role of Website Coordinator which was advertised out to club members.  Quite often this is a potential new members first interaction with a club, so it's critical to have an attractive website with relevant and current information on it.  The fitness sector is a competitive market with sport up against the wide variety of gyms and other professionally run options available.  Having easily accessible information about your club and offerings is a must.  Henderson Squash Club website - Website & Social Media Coordinator Job Description

  • Carried out Club Member survey - over 50 responses received from club members.  Understanding what the club members want and how they perceive the value they are receiving from the club for their membership is very important.  A Club Member Survey can help committee's understand what is working well, and some potential areas for improvement they might not have otherwise realised.  These can also help member satisfaction as they feel they have a chance to share some ideas and become more involved in the club.  Clubs can set up a free account using Survey Monkey ( Click here ), which allows surveys of up to ten questions to be created.  Paid accounts open up a wide range of additional options.
    Survey Templates - Squash only Club Member Survey or Racquets Club Member Survey

  • Created Volunteer Job Descriptions - 17 different volunteer job descriptions created along with a formalised Organisational Structure with not all roles required to be on the club committee.  These are an excellent way of attracting new volunteers and ensuring all roles are covered off by the committee.  Job Descriptions should include Responsibilities & Duties, Knowledge & Skills Required, Estimated Time Commitment, and Reporting Lines.  A formalised organisational structure will make volunteer time more efficient and create an expectation of accountability for paid and non-paid club people.  Organisational Structure - Job Description template
  • Created Club Event Calendar for 2018 - set out club events (business house, Open and social tournaments) and programmes (senior/junior club night, coaching & participation programmes) for 2018.  Creating a calendar of events for the year makes planning easier for the committee, and also allows for ensuring the club can attract new members.  The club has targeted their Business House competition as a main way to attract new members, so will follow up each competition with a six week beginner coaching programme to encourage those that enjoyed playing to learn the basics to keep them engaged and on court.

CCP Progress and Outcomes - Papakura

  • Set membership goals for the next five years - baseline membership as at 1st September was 159 members.  Three month target was 167 which has been reached exactly.  One year target of 185 members.

  • Reviewed club’s membership options & setting up a direct debit facility - having membership options that meet the needs of potential new members is crucial in growing the club.  Flexible options such as weekly or monthly payments with no minimum commitment are what has allowed gyms to take over the fitness market so clubs need to be able to offer these as well.  Setting up the club as a direct debit authority can assist process these payments easily

  • Set up Women in Squash programme - 16 women attended a programme with four having joined the club already, with potentially more to join shortly.  A simple, attractive flyer that got shared on the local community Facebook group ended up with generating over 200 enquiries for the programme within 4 days.  Short, six-week introductory programmes that teach the basics of squash are a great way to bring new players, particularly Women, into your club
  • Carried out Club Member survey - over 50 responses received from club members.  Plenty of positive feedback suggesting members are generally happy with how the club is running

  • Created volunteer job descriptions - Eight job descriptions developed, however still struggled to fill the roles at the recent AGM.  Currently investigating alternative ways to attract new volunteers and committee members into the roles.

  • Reviewed the club’s website – likely to be upgraded following committee discussions.  Current website outdated and needs a makeover with regular maintenance to ensure it is keep current and relevant.

The CCP will continue on throughout 2018 as we continue to carry on the excellent work done by these two clubs.  If any other clubs would like some guidance or assistance with implementing any of these items, or just to discuss anything else the club is struggling with, please don't hesitate to contact us on or 09 623 7855.