Osaka Prefecture Wide Area Sports Center

FAQ on comprehensive community sports clubs

How do I set up a club?

Three concepts (values) are key to creating a comprehensive club. They are “value the community”, “value sports”, and “value people”. A club starts by gathering people who share these values. People who love their community and wish to provide a safe and pleasant place for children; people who love to watch, support, or play sports regardless of what kind (volleyball, baseball, etc.); people who love to build bonds and get together to have fun.

1. Consensus building: Get together and discuss

A club starts by people who share the three values getting together and talking about their thoughts. As the first step, you convey your intentions to the Wide Area Sports Center, board of education, physical education association, recreation association, neighborhood association, or the like. Then you have the organization provide an opportunity for you and people sharing the same thoughts to gather and talk about setting up a club.

2. Organization building: Share thoughts and create a framework for cooperation

As the next step, you share your thoughts and opinions and work to establish a framework for realizing your dream of club-building. Ask people outside of sports for their cooperation as well. Those in welfare and the arts also share your love for community and people. Building bonds with people is the foundation of setting up a club. Build a framework that will allow everyone to share their thoughts and dreams.

3. PR and development: Spread dreams

As the next step, you hold events and classes to convey your thoughts. Through fun events and classes that amaze and surprise, you get as many people as possible to take part in setting up a comprehensive sports club. You can also use mass media and word of mouth to spread the word about your new club.
A comprehensive club requires many resources: base facility and office, sports instructors, funds, and more. Use everyone’s ingenuity to solve problems one by one.

4. Club establishment: Give shape to dreams

Hold an inaugural meeting to declare the foundation of your comprehensive community sports club.

What is the difference between a team and a club?

Clubs have “clubwork” and teamwork, while teams have teamwork. A club is not a club unless it has people and people, groups and groups, and organizations and organizations collaborate based on a shared sense of coexistence.
A club has multiple teams. Collaborative efforts in a team is called teamwork, while we call them “clubwork” in a club.
Teamwork means the combined action of members required to compete with other teams. “Clubwork” means the combined action of multiple teams required for their coexistence. However, focusing too much on teamwork could lead to a single goal only: winning against the opponent. This turns the team into a group of people who aim for the growth of their team only. When that happens, members only look at themselves and the team becomes closed and insular. I think that teams hesitate to develop clubs or feel anxiety in doing so because they have become self-enclosed.
On the other hand, “clubwork” means the combined action of people and people, groups and groups, and organizations and organizations, based on a shared sense of coexistence. They enjoy an open relationship, and club members grow to encompass the entire community. Here we can see the root of a club’s inevitable purpose: to serve the public interest. That’s why clubs have a rich spirit of mutual aid, such as providing space or facilities for each other, say, for when one club has trouble with facility use. But clubs can also become self-enclosed due to issues like the relationship between teams becoming weak or too strong. It’s important for each club to be aware of this risk and constantly self-evaluate.
We need to shift from a closed, teamwork-only team to an open club that serves the public interest through teamwork and “clubwork.”

Osaka Prefecture Wide Area Sports Center Advisor,
Masahiko Matsuda

Should comprehensive clubs offer many types of sports?

Rather than being necessary, I think it’s natural that such clubs grow to offer various kinds of sports. The goal of a comprehensive club is to get more people involved in sports. This becomes possible by responding to the requests of local residents (“I want to try that sport”), and that leads to more kinds of sports being offered at the club. It’s difficult to answer all requests from the start. So a club should start where it can and gradually expand the number of sports available according to the increase in personnel, physical resources, and membership.
The main goal of a comprehensive club is to establish sports culture in the local community. I believe people set up clubs with the wish to make their community into one where more people can lead a fulfilling lifestyle through sports.
If you are not able to meet the local residents’ wishes, you won’t be able to get more people engaged in sports. One such wish is a diversity of sports.
However, simply having many types of sports is not enough. When it comes to regular activities, you need to have a proper coach, a fixed venue, and a certain number of members. When setting up a club, I think it’s best to first determine the type of sport according to the club’s personnel, physical, and financial resources and the members’ needs. I believe having good coaches is especially important if you want to keep your club going and gather many members. For non-regular activities like one-off events, you could offer sports that you wish to include in your club. This would provide an opportunity to judge whether to add them into your regular club activities.
Even if your club offers only a few types of sports, it’s important to share a common philosophy with all involved and gradually grow the number of available sports according to the increase in membership.
Increasing the number of sports doesn’t mean for one person to do multiple sports. A club should provide a place that allows each member of the community to choose which sport and how they enjoy it, according to their physical strength, purpose, and life stage. That’s what’s important.

Osaka Prefecture Wide Area Sports Center Advisor,
Masahiko Matsuda

How can I make a one-off sports event or class into a continuous sports club activity?

In order to start a new club, you first need to let people know of your intention. You can’t gather participants from the local community just by sending out notices that you are looking for new members. That is why it is important to hold events and classes that allow potential members to experience the fun and health benefits of sports. For local residents, it is relatively easier for them to take part in trial events (one-day or multiple-day) rather than going straight into full-fledged activities on a regular or continuous basis. When organizing trial events and classes for boosting awareness of your new club, you need to make sure that participants will enjoy them and find them beneficial to their health. Or else it will be extremely difficult to have them become members of your club. That is why such trial events need to be carefully planned.
The problem is the next stop. There are two main ways to develop continuous club activities. One is to collaborate with existing sports clubs and circles. It is often difficult for existing clubs and comprehensive community sports clubs to collaborate, given they are rivals to one another. You need to take the time to carefully explain the purpose of your new club to existing clubs and how they too can benefit. You should make sure the existing clubs will not be worried about your new club taking their members or making facilities harder to access. Secondly, you can organize activities on a regular and ongoing basis aimed at participants of your trial events and develop them into club activities. This method has been used many times and is not a new concept. However, we need to avoid creating a situation in which numerous clubs compete for limited facilities, as a result of many small, single-sport clubs sprouting up from one sports class or event. It is important to find an effective way to use limited facilities as well as create a cooperative system among facility users and enhance the structure for running the club. I believe herein lies the purpose of a comprehensive community sports club.
There are numerous comprehensive community sports clubs in Osaka Prefecture that have gone through the club-building process described here and that are steadily growing today. I would like you to review club-building from this perspective.

Osaka Prefecture Wide Area Sports Center Supervisor,
Yoshihisa Akamatsu

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Governing body

Sports Promotion Division, Culture and Sports Office, Culture Department, Osaka Prefectural Government

Address37F, Osaka Prefecural Government Sakishima Building, 1-14-16 Nanko-kita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka 559-8555