Becoming an affiliated scottishathletics club

Some jogscotland groups, particularly larger groups, might find it beneficial to become an affiliated scottishathletics club, as well as being a jogscotland group. This doesn’t mean waving goodbye to jogscotland! You can remain part of the jogscotland community, running your sessions in the same way you always have, but can also get the benefits of being affiliated to scottishathletics. If you are considering this for your group, start by reading the information on this page. Click the grey bar at the top of each section to read more.

There is further information available in our downloadable Guide to starting or becoming an athletics club. If, after reading this page and the guide, you think you’d like to find out more, or just want some advice on whether this would be a good move for your group, get in touch with scottishathletics National Club Manager Lindsay McMahon and she’d be delighted to help.

You can also read our case study of Glasgow Frontrunners, a jogscotland group which has also become an affiliated club.

Can my jogscotland group become a scottishathletics club?

The simple answer is yes! In fact, your jogscotland group may already be operating in a similar way to an athletics club. Perhaps you have runners who are looking to be more competitive and train harder and receive more expert coaching. You might like to seek funding to develop your group further, perhaps to cover the costs of coach education. You may want to target specific groups, or perhaps what started as a group of two or three people has grown larger and you want to formalise the group as a club.

Does becoming an athletics club mean leaving jogscotland, or changing the sessions we offer?

No. Several jogscotland groups have also become athletics clubs, while retaining all their links with the jogscotland community, and plenty of athletics clubs have added a jogscotland group as part of the club. If you affiliate with scottishathletics, you will have the benefits of both.

You don’t have to change the sessions you offer, unless you wish to develop your club and members by introducing options for those who are more experienced and wish to improve further. You may have jog leaders who will progress and gain their Coach in Running Fitness qualification, which would allow them to give more support and guidance to the runners. You can still attract new members by setting up beginners jogging groups and cater to whichever levels you choose.

When should you consider making your jogging group into to a running club?

Consider how many regular members you have and how you are currently set up. If you have 30 or more members, offer competition opportunities, have a constitution and committee in place or are considering this, then you are already starting to operate in a similar way to athletics club. If you collect money from the members and/or already have a bank account set up, you are set up like a club. This would be a good time to consider developing your group into a club which can affiliate with scottishathletics and have access to a wide range of support and benefits.

What’s the first step?

First check if there are any athletics/running clubs already in your area (you can use the scottishathletics club finder if you’re not sure) and see if there is a way for your group to become part of this club. This would help to the club to develop their road running section further while also allowing your members to have all the benefits of being a club member – without having to do the work involved in setting up a new club. They may also have coaches already in place who can help coach and develop your members. If there is not a club in your town or the existing clubs are not suitable for your needs, then why not set up your own club?

What you need to do to affiliate your new club?

Don’t panic if the process sounds daunting – scottishathletics National Club Manager Lindsay McMahon can  help you through this process and will have template documents that you can access. When you’ve read this page, contact her if you’d like to find out more.

To get started, you need to hold a meeting with those interested in forming the club. You will need to decide on the club name, if you don’t already have one, and to appoint a committee, including the role of club secretary – this person will be the main contact with scottishathletics. The committee should also have a chairperson, treasurer and welfare officer to decide on things like fees you will charge members. You can also appoint other ordinary committee members if necessary.

To become an affiliated club with scottishathletics, there are essential criteria that groups need to demonstrate, to ensure you are set up correctly from the start. (See also: www.scottishathletics.org.uk/clubs/club-affiliation/).

  1. Clear rationale for the creation of the new club
  2. Evidence of club committee roles and proposed/appointed office bearers
  3. An approved (by the membership) constitution for the management of the proposed club. This should be compliant with the club’s legal status (unincorporated/incorporated) and reviewed annually
  4. Clearly stated dates for the (next) Annual General Meeting
  5. A registered bank account in the name of the club and with 2 signatories required
  6. Evidence of adaption/adoption of clear and effective welfare, grievance and disciplinary procedures, in-line with the scottishathletics/UK Athletics policies
  7. Evidence of appointment and commitment to training of a Club Welfare Officer
  8. Clear statement of athletics disciplines being offered for a) training and b) competition – this could just be road running/endurance, there is no need to offer further disciplines.
  9. Clear statement on age groups being catered for
  10. Evidence of provision of appropriate training facilities for identified club sessions
  11. Evidence of a clear coaching structure for the club. This should include appropriately qualified and licensed (UK Athletics) coaches and leaders at each stage of your identified athlete pathway
  12. When considering proposed club colours new clubs must aim to minimise confusion by avoiding having very similar kit to another Scottish club – please provide details of proposed club colours
  13. Demonstrate compliance with relevant legislation, such as the Equalities Act 2010, in respect of inclusive practice for your member’s/ future members

Once you have completed the criteria, the National Club Manager will submit your request for affiliation to the scottishathletics board, which will make the final decision. Once accepted, you will need to complete and return your affiliation form and pay the appropriate fee.

What are the benefits of affiliation for clubs and their members?

  1. Entitled to attend, speak and vote at any scottishathletics General Meeting
  2. Club members can apply to become individual members of scottishathletics
  3. Dedicated support from scottishathletics staff
  4. Insurance for affiliated clubs and their members
  5. Access to the national club development programme and support resources including our online resource, Clubserve
  6. Access to the national coach development programme including visits to clubs from expert coaches to support athlete development
  7. Discounts on coaching courses for registered club members (presently 70% discount for Athletics Coach and Coach in Running Fitness courses)
  8. Eligibility to apply for permits and insurance cover for events organised under UKA rules
  9. Direct support from the scottishathletics events team to provide guidance, share good practice and help enhance events
  10. Direct support to member clubs from the scottishathletics welfare team, in accordance with the scottishathletics disciplinary and grievance procedures
  11. Eligibility to enter (for scottishathletics individual members) into National Championships across a wide range of event groups
  12. Support for club athletes and coaches who have been identified through the talent pathway programmes
  13. Nationally recognised club colours
  14. Eligibility for club places at the Virgin Money London Marathon – allocation based upon number of registered athletes aged over 18

Is there a cost to join scottishathletics as a club and what is the individual cost to join as an individual member?

It costs £7 per member to affiliate your club to scottishathletics. Most clubs raise this money through an annual membership fee. Once your club has become an affiliated club, each member can then choose to become an individual member of scottishathletics which brings with it many benefits.

What competitions can club members take part in?

People who are club members can take part in open events, road races, cross country, track and field, hill races and ultra-distance. People who are also individual members of scottishathletics can also take part in county, district and national events.

When the club is completing the affiliation form, it indicates what disciplines it offers – this doesn’t need to relate solely on what the club offers in training, as some athletes may wish to compete in hill running events or ultra events but you may not offer this in training.

What would be the legal status of our club?

Every club is either unincorporated or incorporated.

An unincorporated organisation is established through an agreement between a group of people who come together for a reason other than to make a profit. Many sports clubs go down this route – quick and easy to set up and also cost effective as there are no requirements to register with companies house. It is usually very suitable for small, simple clubs that tend not to employ staff, own land or facilities or enter into significant contracts. However, an unincorporated club does not exist in law and therefore cannot sign contracts. If you want to enter into contracts, then you need to consider becoming incorporated.

An incorporated organisation is a legal entity in its own right. It can enter into contracts, employ staff and lease property. Incorporated status means the personal liability of members is limited and protected. Governance structures are more formalised within a legal framework.

How would we run club finances?

When starting up your athletics club you should have a bank account in place with a minimum of two signatories as well as a club treasurer. Ideally, we recommend having a finance sub-group which oversees all the finances for the club, and that accounts should be independently verified prior to the club’s AGM.

For more information, contact National Club Manager, Lindsay McMahon.

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