Thursday 25th January 2018

How Integrated is the SSS Network?

Recent research into the SSS membership has revealed that a staggering 124 community partnerships are currently in place throughout the network.




Recent research into the SSS membership has revealed that a staggering 124 community partnerships are currently in place throughout the network.

Student sport clubs across the country are relishing a range of benefits from these community partnerships; spanning from facility use and coaching support to workforce development and inclusive participation opportunities. In the 2017/18 academic year alone, seven new mutually beneficial community partnerships have been formed so far; with more in the pipeline.

So, how exactly do these community partnerships come about? We at SSS are huge advocates of working together to solve barriers, be that internally within the student sport network, or externally across the sporting sector. Many student clubs currently engaging with community clubs are doing so through an identified need for additional facilities or coaching support. Building a positive relationship with a local club or governing body to alleviate these barriers to activity is an excellent solution that reduces strain on institutions and develops valuable partnership building and influencing skills in our students. Alternatively, there are a huge number of student clubs who have sought community partnerships as an avenue to provide youth coaching and umpiring opportunities to their students, as well as additional participation opportunities. Each of the 124 partnerships currently in place are unique, with mutual benefits for each of the parties involved.

Let’s take a look at the stats. Nearly 20% of all student clubs in the SSS network have a community partnership agreement in place in some form. Of the 124 partnerships currently in place, 45% of these are supported by formal agreements. Tayside, Fife and Grampian are leading the way regionally on the community partnership front with responsibility for a whopping 50% of all current partnerships – excellent work guys!

Are community partnerships the future? We think so. In the new 2017 – 2021 strategy, SSS have committed to extending community club links across the country. The SSS Development Team have created a ‘Community Partnership Agreement’ template to support institutions to identify their own commitments to a community link along with potential benefits. The template also supports regular reviewing of new and existing agreements to ensure they remain a best fit for both the student and community club.

For more information or support on extending community partnerships at your own institution, speak to your Regional Development Coordinator. Click HERE for contact details.

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