In order to advance in any sport, you need money. Money for training, equipment, travel, competition, kit, you name it! The more professional you are, the further you’ll get and with funding behind you, there road is a lot smoother.
Recently, Sport England unveiled an infographic that outlined which sport received the biggest chunks of money from their Small Grant fund, which is open to apply for all year long, between 2009-2014. Sport England dished out just over £33.5million in investment to a myriad of sport clubs, teams and individual athletes to pursue their sporting quest from across the whole spectrum of sports available. With regards to hockey, they only received a mere 1% of the funding, coming in at £339,270 over 5 years. That’s only an average of £67, 854 a year. This bodes the question of why? Are hockey clubs unaware of the funding available to them? Are we too poilte to ask for some of the offering? I think we are unaware of exactly what’s available and maybe a bit daunted about the application process.
Fear not! I’ve written a host of tips and tricks of how to apply for funding for your club and why you shouldn’t be worried in asking for funding to further develop your club and the sport we love. The more money that’s invested into hockey, the better, right? Well, you’re part of the solution so get applying!
Make sure you read the rules and instructions properly
Reading the rules correctly is a major point to remember, for example, if an organisation is willing to fund coaching, yet you fill in the application wonderfully yet you’ve asked for kit, then it’ll go straight to the bin. You need to make sure you’re asking for the right amount of money to cater for your needs that the organisation is willing to fork out for. If you follow the guidelines to a ‘T’, then that will help your case tremendously.
Don’t forget to sign!
The amount of times people forget to read over the application form or forget to sign at the bottom after doing all the hard work and collecting all the evidence needed. Without that signature the rest isn’t worth a jot!
Have you attached everything they’ve asked for?
As well as the application form for the grant, the fund might want evidence that you’re a club, so bank statements is usually a key piece of evidence to clinch that extra bit of funding. Make sure you photocopy and attach ALL pieces of evidence the organisation needs to complete your application.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
If there’s a maximum amount of money the grant fund is willing to offer each club/athlete, then why not make a case for the whole lot? Think really hard about how it will help you achieve your goals and push you on in your chosen sport. That big ole’ ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ saying rings true for a reason.
9 times out of 10 you’ll be sending your application form off electronically, so attach a little covering email to explain who you are, and what the application form is, and even wish the recipient a nice day because you never know, they might make a special push for your form due to your friendly nature. It always pays to be nice!
Look around for as many as you can
There are several grants available out there, you just have to do the leg work and find them. Remember to treat each one individually and make a personal case for them one by one. Applications for funding can be hard work, but at the end of the day, you it can do wonders for your sporting career!
Yep, that’s right! In order to develop your club you’ll need new projects year in year out to be able to grow your club, and this is recognised by institutions such as Sport Wales, Sport England and the community chest from your local council. You can apply for the full amount again the year after if you want to develop a new team, get new coaches, expand training session and fun centres. What about funding to get qualified umpires? Money to help train more coaches at your club? Are you setting up Back2Hockey and need a kit to help get things rolling? Then get applying!
It’s up to you now. You can play a huge part in getting more funding into hockey, and starting at grass roots level is a fantastic way to start.