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Sport and Business #AsOne?

What does it take to run an effective business these days?

26 January 2016
SRU Club Development Conference AK



Last week saw the inaugural SRU Club Development Conference at BT Murrayfield. Attended by over 200 representatives from clubs all over Scotland, the day was well organised and run.

Boroughmuir Rugby was represented by 3 Board members, David Campbell, Justin Tito and Gavin Barry who attended each of the workshops split out over the day.

  • Making the most of your clubhouse
  • Being a community club
  • Promoting your club
  • Volunteer Recruitment

The conference focused on the business management of a club and the associated challenges of managing, developing and transitioning a club into a customer focused business.

The conference included keynote speakers including Scotland and Guinness PRO12 winning captain Alastair Kellock who spoke about creating a team ethos across the club.

Scottish Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer and British and Irish Lions doctor, James Robson, presented why player welfare is important. But the most valuable speaker was Former Scotland wing Tony Stanger, former Head of Talent at sportscotland institute of sport, spoke about the need for clubs to develop their cultures.

So what did Boroughmuir learn from this conference by comparing our business model with those of other clubs?

Firstly, there is a lot our club is doing that is either on par or ahead of other clubs.

Our focus on community programmes, using the venue as a focal point for other clubs and showing initiative within the venue by delivering a number of varied community events was regarded as the way forward.

We were used as a great example of our use of different channels for the promotion of our club and how we keep our members informed via different channels. We were also approached by 2 clubs asking for advice on how we manage our membership, now it has moved online and supports our volunteer recruitment requirements.

SRU Club Development Conference TS

But there are also a number of areas we can also improve in. A presentation from Perthshire RFC Andy Cummins talked about how PRFC had to make some tough decisions to ensure the sustainability of the club could support it’s future.

Andy spoke about the need to have a solid business plan supported by an effective people plan. Andy went on to give examples of how the club had to remove barriers that held back the club from changing it’s model and most importantly not being satisfied with those “we have always done it that way” people within the organisation.

Next steps!

The conference gave the club the opportunity to network with a lot of other clubs and professionals from different backgrounds. What was apparent was, what worked for some clubs would not work for others due to the different variables in their community and business model. Boroughmuir took a lot of learning’s and ideas away from this conference that will be put into a comprehensive development plan for the year and shared with the membership, our customers.

This is a good opportunity for Boroughmuir to move into a new phase for business and needs the support of its members and supporters. If you have a background in business management, projects, events, HR, accountancy or administration and can spare a couple of per week, then we want to hear from you. Drop us a note to and lets grab a coffee.

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