Swim England Club Health Tracker

How healthy are our grassroots sports clubs and how can we support them?

These were the questions Swim England wanted to answer. They wanted to use insight to build a tool specific to aquatic clubs that would not only measure the health of clubs but then help volunteers and staff to easily identify and implement improvements. Together, we created the Club Health Tracker.

Investigation – What We Do

The Club Health Tracker is an online tool that helps NGBs/organisations monitor and improve the health of their sports clubs. The tool identifies which clubs are operating well or where further support is needed, allowing the strategic focus of national and regional club development support. The tool also provides clubs with instant feedback on their club health status and signposts them to actions that will enhance the customer experience and club stability.

Insight – How We Do It

Working with Swim England, we designed and developed the Club Health Tracker which consisted of a self-assessment survey and interactive data visualisations of club data.
1. The survey measures performance in key club development areas including coaching & teaching, finances, pool operator relationships, governance, membership growth, , and volunteers.
2. The club’s results are then displayed against benchmark averages for other aquatic clubs in a series of interactive charts and tables. Based on the club scores, clubs are assigned a development status and signposted to appropriate resources to support development improvements.
3. All club results are aggregated and displayed in a variety of charts, tables, and downloads for Swim England staff. This includes a Red Flag log which highlights clubs that need urgent support as well as the ability to interrogate data by regions, disciplines, topics and questions.

The development of the Club Health Tracker included a user testing phase with both aquatic clubs and Swim England staff. The platform functionality and user experience were tested thoroughly, with improvements made before its official launch in December 2022.

Action – How The Insights Are Used

In its first year, the Club Health Tracker was completed by 247 aquatic clubs. The data collected and displayed in the Club Health Tracker is used by clubs, Swim England’s national team, and regional staff.

The tracker identifies what the club is doing well and areas of development that may require attention. To help address the latter, the tracker signposts them to relevant support and information. For the City of Sheffield Swim Squad, for example, the tracker highlights their success in developing a more proactive partnership with both the management of Sheffield City Trust – who operate their base at Ponds Forge – and Sheffield Hallam University.

Their work has seen squad membership numbers increase by 30% since 2019 and because of this, they’ve been able to employ more staff to support the club too.
It’s allowed them to create a pathway from junior club swimming to university swimming as well as an education programme to fit alongside it. Their relationship with the university has even expanded to include sports science support and an internship programme that benefits both parties.
And their cooperation with the operator has allowed them to add 28 hours of extra pool time per month which benefits both the swimmers and Ponds Forge.
The club chair and managing director said that the club highly values the impact that better working relationships have had on club growth and plans to continue prioritising it going forward.

The Club Health Tracker is regularly used by both national and regional Swim England staff. Regional staff can now access data for clubs in their area, identifying common areas where multiple clubs require support as well as enabling staff to see each club’s scores and development status before entering further discussions with the club.
Nationally, the Swim England team has employed a new member of staff to provide support to clubs as identified by the tool. The tracker provides Swim England staff with an evidence-base that helps them to quickly provide targeted support and get clubs back on the right track. It also highlights areas where aquatic clubs are performing well and so enables Swim England to congratulate and reward clubs for their excellence.
A network of financially robust clubs with the structure and partnerships in place to support their long-term future is a particular focus of Swim England’s new strategy 2023 – 2033, Access Aquatics. The Club Health Tracker identifies those clubs who are having financial challenges and enabled Swim England to produce bespoke guidance and support to help ensure long-term financial sustainability.

"Sporting Insights have done an incredible job building the Club Health Tracker. Their sporting knowledge and the simplicity of their approach made them the ideal organisation to partner with on this project. Being able to easily visualize club health data on a simple dashboard has been hugely beneficial and the Club Health Tracker now plays a key role in how we approach our development work with clubs."  

Andy Jack
Club and Operator Relationship Manager, Swim England

Interested in setting up a Club Health Tracker for your clubs?

A white-labelled version of the Club Health Tracker is available to other NGBs or organisations. This version can be tailored to your needs and branded for your organisation. If you are interested in finding out more or seeing a demonstration of the Club Health Tracker please contact Hannah.sprake@sportinginsights.com.