Starting a Club

On this page your will find information about how to go about setting up your own judo club.

Understand the demand

Before embarking on the journey to establish your own judo club it is vital that you carry out some research. This will give you a better understanding of the demand for a new judo club in your area.

You can use our Club Finder to find other judo clubs nearby. Local libraries, noticeboards and newspapers are also a good sources of information to identify judo and other sports clubs in the area. It will be challenging to set up a new club if there are other successful and well attended clubs locally.

You have got to this stage because you have a handful of other people that share your interest in starting a judo club. In order to get a greater understanding of the potential local demand to join a new judo club, you should consider doing the following:

  • Organise an open meeting to discuss your ideas and publicise it well through the local media, sports centres and other outlets
  • For a junior club, talk to the sport coordinators at the schools in your area
  • Publish your ideas in the local media and ask people to get in touch
  • Arrange a leaflet drop and ask people to get in touch with you
  • Canvass people on the local high street

Establish a Vision and Plan

Running a club requires time and commitment and having a well thought out plan will help you put in place everything that you need to attract members and secure your clubs future.

Sport England have developed a club development template which can be used to document your clubs vision which can then be shared across other volunteers that play a part in helping to manage and run your club. Visit the ClubMatters website to access this along with many other useful club tools.

Support and Affiliation

There are several organisations that should be able to help you start a judo club. You should make contact with each of them in the early stages of setting up your judo club to find out what practical help they can offer. They are:

  • Local Authority – The Local Authority are likely to have a sports or leisure department who can assist you in hiring sports facilities where you can run your sessions.
  • Active Partnership – Each county in England has a Active Partnership responsible for growing sport and physical participant in their areas. There is a wealth of expertise and local knowledge at your Active Partnership you can draw on here to help you get off to the best start.
  • British Judo Association – We have a number of Regional Support Officers based around the country who offer support to clubs to help them grow and develop. Contact your local Regional Support Officer to see what support and advice they can give you in setting up your club.


Deciding the governance structure that your club will adopt is extremely important and you should take time to discuss your options will all volunteers that will be involved in running the club and possibly your members.

The most common structure adopted by newly formed sports clubs is “unincorporated”. In this structure members define and shape the club, its purpose and rules which are then set out within a club constitution. The club has no separate legal personality, and the club members are personally liable for the actions or debts of the club.

More information on club structures can be found on the ClubMatters and Government websites.

Whilst some small clubs can manage with just a couple of people running them, it’s usually a good idea to recruit a few people to form a club committee to help manage the club more effectively and efficiently. Roles will vary from club to club depending but it is advisable to have a Welfare Officer, a Treasurer, a Secretary, the club’s head coach and a Chair to oversee the committee’s work.

By creating and agreeing to a club constitution you can formally give your club a name, established who is doing what you, decide on the vision and goals of the club and outline procedures by which the club is run.


An interesting and enjoyable sporting programme is what attracts and keeps people coming back to a judo club. With support from British Judo’s Delivery team you can start to put together a programme of sessions to cater for differing skills, ages and abilities and help your players join a local competition or league with another club. As your club grows you may consider developing a structured player pathway to encourage progression from recreational or novice players to more competitive and experienced levels of play.


Securing the initial funds to set up a judo club can be challenging. Most clubs start off with an initial investment from its founding members. However, clubs will need additional income to help them grow and prosper. These can include:

Membership Fees – A key element to raising income for a judo club is establishing a realistic membership pricing scheme that is attractive to potential new members as well as retaining current members. The more members your club has the greater the income generated by membership fees.

Fundraisers – Most clubs run a range of different activities from raffles to quiz nights, judo competitions to masterclasses to raise money for their club. Get creative and think about what fund raisers your club and run.

Funding and Grants – The Funding page has a listing of potential funding pots that judo are eligible to apply for to help them develop and expand their activities.

Sponsorship – What advertising space is your club able to sell? What arrangements for services in kind can your club negotiate? Think about your club’s commercial potential and start making connections with local business to see what sponsorship you can receive.

You should set up a bank account which will enable the club to receive the income above as well as paying outgoings. These financial records should be maintained by the designated treasurer in the club’s constitution and used to create a realistic budget which will ensure that the club is financially sustainable.

Facilities and Equipment

The venue is at the core of any judo club. It is where the judo takes place and where parents, players and people associated with the club socialise. Do some research to find out what facilities are available in your area that are of a suitable size for judo, are accessible and are within our budget to hire or lease for a set period of time.

Local schools, sports centres, sports halls, village halls, universities and colleges other sports clubs are all good places to start when searching for a venue for your judo club. You should also consult your local authority/council and County Sport Partnership as they will have knowledge of the facilities in your area.

Once you have successfully sourced a venue you will need to look at Health & Safety and the Duty of Care provisions which the club has to members whilst at the venue.

In order to run a judo session at your new club you will need to ensure that there is sufficient equipment available for people to participant.

Judogi, judo mats and a range of other equipment can be purchased from the JudoStore.

Your judo club is now set up for success and ready for action!

Additional support

Sport England have developed a dedicated programme for clubs in England (Clubmatters) that provides a vast range of free, convenient and practical resources to help you set up your club. The amount of content on the dedicated site can be overwhelming so we have pulled out some of the key areas that we think will be benefit you below. By registering for free you will be able to access a portfolio of online workshops and webinars.

For clubs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales please visit your respective national sport agency: Sport Scotland, Sport Northern Ireland and Sport Wales