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Swimming is a popular sport in New Zealand, and there is always a great demand for swimming clubs around the country. There are a few things to consider if you want to start a swimming club. Swimming New Zealand outlines an official policy to follow if you do want to start your own club. This involves making an application and paying setup fees to the organisation. While it is relatively straightforward, you will need to have a plan in place to have a successful application.

This article will set out three things to consider before starting a swimming club: 

  1. gauging the demand for a new club
  2. getting your documentation together; and 
  3. applying through Swimming NZ.

1. Gauge the Demand for a New Club

To successfully apply to start a new swimming club in New Zealand, you will need to show that you have at least 15 paying members at the very outset of your new club. As a first step, you should gauge whether you can get enough members to agree to sign onto your new club and be part of the organisation (and agree to pay to do so). This is a useful consideration regardless. Indeed, a swimming club will rely on members and the community. You need to be sure you can get enough members to sign up before you start the process of applying. 

Firstly, you should undertake a quick study to see what the other swimming clubs in your area might be, and how popular they are. You could even visit the facilities they use to check and see what some of their activities and organisation looks like. You may find there are plenty of local clubs around, and you might struggle to get enough members together to launch your own club. However, it might be that there is a serious lack of swimming clubs in your local area, and swimmers are searching for a new organisation. This preliminary research is a great first step when you are considering starting a swimming club.

2. Getting Your Documentation Together

If you decide that there is a need for a swimming club in your area, you should go about getting the documentation together to make your application to start a new club. While there can sometimes be a few regional processes, the Swimming New Zealand process is generally standard. You will need to send the following to your local swimming authority:

  • a letter of request explaining the need to establish a club in your area;
  • the key officials responsible for the establishment of the club; and
  • the proposed name of the club.

There are a few steps in the process of applying to start a new swimming club. If your preliminary application with the documents above is accepted, you will need to prepare some further documents as well, so it often pays to think about them in advance. These include:

  • a draft constitution for your swimming club (you can find resources for drafting this online, particularly on Sport NZ’s website); 
  • proof of an established bank account in the name of the club; and
  • a list of 15 initial members who have agreed to be paying members of the club.

Note that the club membership fee is $400. You can find additional support on the Swimming New Zealand website, which includes several resources that can be useful when thinking about documentation, such as templates and guides to marketing and promotion.

3. After Making an Application

After collating your club’s documentation, you will make an application to the local swimming authority in your area. If they give preliminary approval, the regional board under the auspices of Swimming New Zealand will make a final decision about your application. You can also seek feedback about the different aspects of your planned swimming club and tips on how to make it a success. If they reject your application, seek reasons why and whether you can address them in an adjusted plan or proposal.

Key Takeaways

It is an exciting step to start a new swimming club in New Zealand. While there are many clubs around the country, swimming is a popular activity, and there is often demand for new or expanded swimming club services. When thinking about starting a new swimming club, the best resource is Swimming New Zealand’s website, which also sets out the application process details to start a club. You should also gauge demand and see whether you will successfully launch a popular club in your local area. If you would like more information about starting a swimming club, contact LegalVision’s business lawyers on 0800 005 570 or complete the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone start a swimming club in New Zealand?

Anyone can apply to Swimming New Zealand and local swimming authorities to start a club.

Do I need paying members to apply to start a swimming club?

Yes, you should have 15 paying members willing to support your application to start a new swimming club when you apply through Swimming New Zealand’s process.

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