Stage A: Estimation of the present state and will
Before starting any SCforH initiative, it is a good idea to form a clear picture of the identity, context, and conditions of the club. Sports clubs differ considerably in terms of a number of factors such as how they address health in their programmes, their development goals and resources, and the specific requirements of the clubs and their officials. It is, therefore, important to note that the most efficient way to adopt and implement the SCforH approach will depend and should be selected on the basis of the existing conditions in the club. The most commonly followed pathways that lead to SCforH implementation are listed in Figure 6.
Many sports clubs have already adopted an approach similar to that of the SCforH and act in accordance with the SCforH guiding principles although they have not used the term ‘SCforH’ to refer to their approach. In this case, clubs can simply recognize and label the work they have already been doing as the ‘SCforH approach’, and subsequently actively raise awareness for the SCforH concept in the club (SCforH implementation perspective “Type I”). Furthermore, clubs can attempt to improve existing activities by, for example, experimenting with new exercise methods, improving facilities, or placing a focus on a new target group, in accordance with the SCforH approach (“Type II”). A third option (“Type III”) is to develop a comprehensive strategy for the broad implementation of the SCforH approach in the club. This type of implementation does not necessarily need to include setting up and running a specific SCforH initiative. Finally, the club can introduce an entirely new SCforH programme or initiative (“Type IV”). These are the most commonly followed pathways that lead to SCforH implementation. However, sports clubs are encouraged to develop and follow other pathways if they are considered more appropriate.
Figure 6. The most commonly followed pathways that lead to SCforH implementation
Identify the support and possibilities for implementation of the SCforH approach both within and outside the club
First, it is recommended to ask whether the leading officials, members, and participants in your club would support the implementation of the SCforH approach. Support from club officials is particularly important because it ensures that SCforH will eventually become embedded in the club activities. Any reluctance identified at this stage must be overcome before proceeding to the planning stage. It may be useful at this early stage to develop an interest group whose members will help disseminate information about the SCforH concept in the club and help persuade club officials to consider implementation.
Those in charge of planning the SCforH initiative(s) in the club should have a common understanding of: 1) What the SCforH approach is; 2) what the characteristics of the club and its sport discipline(s) are; and 3) how the SCforH approach aligns with the characteristics of the club (e.g., possibilities and resources). Before beginning to plan the implementation of SCforH initiatives, a common understanding of these points has to be reached. For further guidance on this subject, see the SCforH Electronic Toolkit16 (Area 2) on identifying resources.
A sports club is not a closed and isolated system; on the contrary, it is a ‘living part’ of its environment. At this stage it is, therefore, also worth looking outside the immediate club setting to determine whether other potential partners or actors can be identified who would be interested in collaborating in the SCforH project or supporting it.