[A]ctive Cumbria have announced that Cumbria Taekwondo Club Milnthorpe has been awarded Clubmark – the national kitemark status for community sports clubs.
Clubmark is Sport England’s cross-sport quality accreditation for clubs with junior sections. Active Cumbria can award clubs that are affiliated to a National Governing Body of Sport (NGB) that does not have a license themselves. It is the only nationally recognised ‘kite-mark’ for sports clubs to show children, parents, schools and local facilities that a sports club offers a safe, and quality assured environment for juniors.
With an increasing number of children accessing sporting opportunities outside of school it is vital that these clubs serve young people well. Clubmark not only provides quality assurance but can also transform a club, making it more vibrant, visible and accessible to its local community. As a single national standard to which all clubs aspire, Clubmark give all types of sports clubs structure and direction. Clubs awarded Clubmark see tangible benefits through gaining accreditation, such as club development, developing coaches and volunteers, increased membership and raised profile. Clubmark also gives parents the confidence that their child is accessing a high quality junior club.
Cumbria Taekwondo Milnthorpe was launched back in 2010 by Steven Grabek after being approached by Dallam School, who were looking for new clubs to operate out of their brand new sports facility. Since that day, the club has gone from strength to strength, with an ever growing membership base, having started with only 5 students to now having over 80.
“It’s always been our intention to make our classes enjoyable and accessible to all age groups and abilities, and to be flexible in our approach to teaching. Taekwondo is both a traditional martial art and Olympic sport. At our club we favour sport training because we have found that it triggers greater engagement, enthusiasm and enjoyment from the students.”
As the club has grown, so have the classes, from the fun introductory Kickstars sessions for 4-7yr olds, to the Junior Development (8-11yrs) and Senior (12yrs+) classes; all overseen by the club coaches Steven Grabek and Andrew Syverson. The club also regularly attends competitions throughout the country for those with an interest in fighting and hold extra seminar/training days with the other clubs with in the ‘Cumbria Taekwondo’ group. There are also Advanced Traditional classes for those committed to achieving that coveted black belt.
On the recent success gaining clubmark status, Steven said: “In the early days I was running the club on my own which worked fine when it was just a handful of members, but as it was getting busier I quickly realised I needed support. By going through the Clubmark process, we managed to form a club committee of parent volunteers to help run the club and we’ve never looked back. We are always looking at ways to improve and now we have a strong team of people behind the club working towards making our goals and vision a reality.”
Becky Underwood (Development Officer at Active Cumbria) who assessed the club for its Clubmark status on the new & update online system said “Cumbria Taekwondo Milnthorpe works hard to ensure that the club runs to the highest standards. The club has committed and well trained coaches and volunteers, each session is well planned and varied. The club’s members clearly love developing their Taekwondo skills, and the Clubmark accreditation was well deserved.
Active Cumbria works hard to develop clubs within the county, giving people access to high quality coaching and sports provision. Clubmark is increasingly recognised as a mark of high quality, and these are the clubs that we endorse. Clubmark clubs demonstrate a commitment to safeguarding children, they have well developed progression routes for children wishing to excel in their sport and have suitably trained coaches and volunteers. Not only will Clubmark improve standards of sports clubs in the county, it will also help drive up participation, making more people more active, more often. Cumbria Taekwondo Club Milnthorpe is an excellent example of what a Clubmark Club should look like. If you would like to find out which clubs are accredited in your area, please use the Activity Search on www.activecumbria.org homepage – all clubs holding the Clubmark are highlighted.”
If your club wishes to gain Clubmark accreditation, you will be supported by Active Cumbria. For more information, contact Becky Underwood on 07717 586430 or email [email protected].
For more information on Clubmark, visit: www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/club-mark