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What is a multi-sport club?

A young person and a coach throw two different-sized balls to each other in a sports hall.

A multi-sport club is an organisation that offers two or more sports or activities. The management and running of a multi-sport club can take various forms, including:

  • A centrally managed body
  • An umbrella organisation
  • Co-located organisations
  • A mother or parent organisation.

This page explores the benefits of well-run multi-sport clubs, the different forms they may take, attributes of well-run multi-sport clubs, common challenges and possible solutions.

  • The benefits

    There are many benefits of being a well-run club, from providing a safe and welcoming environment for all, to having good governance processes and being financially sustainable.

    The specific benefits of having a well-run multi-sports club include: 

    • Operating, running, and facility costs can be shared. 
    • The opportunity to become more financially sustainable through having a more consistent cashflow from different sports, greater bargaining and purchasing power, and increasing the appeal to different sponsors, partners and funding bodies including national governing bodies (NGBs).
    • The opportunity for participants to access further opportunities during their primary sport’s off-season.
    • Access to a larger workforce and wider range of skills, knowledge, and experiences.
    • Having clearly understood roles and responsibilities to ensure all sections, and the overall club, are run effectively and efficiently. 
    • Benefit from economies of scale when purchasing resources and equipment. 
    • Asset-owning organisations can maximise the use of their facilities by making them available to different organisations when they’re not in use. 
    • A greater diversity of participants and volunteers as different sections and sports are likely to attract different people from your local community. 
    • The development of a strong culture and shared values that are lived out by every section. 
    • A more harmonious environment where different sections support each other and work proactively together to achieve shared priorities.


Good governance
The way a multi-sport club runs, operates and makes decisions is underpinned by its legal structure and the governance processes it has in place.

These processes will be outlined within your governing document (articles of association or constitution), and it’s the responsibility of your organisation's decision-making body (such as a board) or management committee to embed and live these.

Multi-sport clubs may also have sub-committees who are responsible for the day-to-day running of individual sections, but report to the main decision-making board or committee.

Regardless of the way your multi-sport club is set up, all clubs are encouraged to follow the principles set out in a ‘Code for Sports Governance’ to ensure their practices are underpinned by robust and reliable governance processes.

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Different types of multi-sport club

The way that multi-sport clubs are managed and run will vary. There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach or blueprint as to how to do this; however, multi-sport clubs generally fall into one of the four models outlined below.

Two smiling men holding badminton racquets on an indoor court.