Chapter 1

Turning FFS – how hard can it be?

Well, it might seem too much for the power of one single sports club to make huge changes and transform into an FFS club? Well…relax! This Curriculum is here to analyze all the aspects of FFS and guide the sports clubs and organizations step by step in applying FFS in their regular programs!

To start with, let’s define what exactly a family friendly sports club needs to do. The answer is easy and not too complicated: it is supposed to provide opportunities for families to train together and enjoy some fun, educational and bonding time through sports activities!

To start with, you don’t need to exaggerate, neither is it obligatory to make huge changes in the functioning, infrastructure and annual planning of your club. One step at a time! If you are a beginner, then this very Curriculum is the best tool you can use for your FFS transformation! In fact, you can start your new page by including in your annual plan some occasional family days with activities that involve the interaction of your young athletes with their parents (ex. games between opposing teams of children and their parents), or educational family days (ex. parents and children being trained on the rules of your sport) etc.

A few concrete examples of such activities you may find in the end of this Curriculum, which -of course- you can adjust to the needs of your own sports club!

In any case, building the family friendly profile of your sports club requires a holistic approach and involves the following important aspects that are crucial in such a turn:

  • to ensure the active involvement of carers in practicing sport activities together with their children, which should be regular, consistent and long term. This requires that the FFS activities are well planned in advance and quite deliberately, in the exact same way as we would be planning the development of the child in the process.
  • to invite carers to be actively involved not only in the implementation of these activities, but also in the general program planning of the work of the club and its strategic development, in order to ensure that the needs and views of them as important actors of FFS are listened to and integrated in the functioning of the club.

Anyway, it is very important to keep this in mind: when deciding to transform your club into a FFS one you need to build the team-spirit within your target groups. It is not only you (staff, trainers, representatives etc.) and your young athletes anymore…Your team is getting bigger and carers should be considered part of it! The whole family is your team and carers and young athletes are your team members! Be the first ones to acknowledge it and help your members understand it and build up their team spirit!

Not in any case should this overview scare you, though! Exaggeration is not our thing here, remember? Yes – consistency, regularity and long-term processing we definitely need! This doesn’t mean we are talking about every-single-day work though! A couple times a week or a few times per month could be enough, as long as they happen every week of every month! 😊

Now, let’s see what challenges we need to overcome and how we can build our capacities for becoming an FFS club!