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How to start a club

Full affiliation

For a club to fully affiliate the Athletic Union it must have been in existence for at least twelve months, having met the following conditions. This requirement ensures that clubs are financially and organisationally self sufficient in the long term:

  1. AU Exec approved constitution and safety policy.
  2. Functioning committee.
  3. Sufficient membership to justify and sustain the club.
  4. Treasurers account with sufficient working capital to justify and sustain the club.
  5. That the demand for their sport is not already met by an affiliated club.

On acceptance of the above evidence by the AU Executive Board, the club will be notified by email of their probationary full affiliated club status and will immediately enjoy all the benefits that full affiliated clubs enjoy subject to an AU Club Financial Agreement. The probationary status will last for 12 months. At the end of that period the AU Executive Board will either confirm the club’s full affiliated club status, or (in the event that conditions 1-5 have not been sustained) extend the probationary period for a further 12 months or disaffiliate the club (if there is no prospect of the conditions being met).

Second tier affiliations

In order for brand new clubs to be able to achieve the above requirements, they can affiliate as a second tier club. The second tier provides restricted support and is intended to foster the formation of new clubs and to discourage University clubs from operating out with the safety and disciplinary controls of the Athletic Union.

Benefits of affiliation for the club

Benifits include the following:

  1. Affiliation to University and Saints Sport brands and the credibility that comes with this.
  2. Access to club development advice and none monetary support from the AU team (this could, however, take the form of assistance with grant applications).
  3. An AU provided website on
  4. Freshers Fayre presence and a listing in the Freshers Club Guide.
  5. AU Provided email address with Google Docs.
  6. AU Health and Safety advice and management/regulation.
  7. Use of AU Transport (providing the club can demonstrate that they have enough funds to be able to cover insurance excesses).
  8. Members are eligible for funding for representative sport (BUCS Home nations and trials etc).

In order for a group to affiliate as a second tier club they must have the following:

  1. Business plan to demonstrate their planned financial sustainability.
  2. Constitution.
  3. Treasurer's Bank Account opened with Bank of Scotland South Street branch.
  4. Functioning Committee.
  5. Approved Safety Policy and signed club code of conduct.


Second tier clubs would not have access to any funding apart from agreed BUCS/SUS competition entries:

  1. No annual transport funding.
  2. No coaching funding.
  3. No access to the equipment programme.
  4. No AOF Funding or loans of more than £100 pa.


  1. Once a club has full affiliated status, it cannot be downgraded to second tier status. The structure exists solely to facilitate the formalisation of new clubs.
  2. After submitting the minutes of their first official committee meeting to the AU Executive board, the club will be notified by email of their probationary second tier club status and be provided with a club generic email address and webspace. 
  3. The probationary status will last for up to one month, by which time all the conditions of affiliation must be met. At the end of that period the AU Executive Board will either confirm the club’s full second tier club status, or disaffiliate the club.