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Solent Sports FC: Fostering Inclusivity through Football, Community (and Spond)


Solent Sports FC is transforming recreational football

Solent Sports FC is more than just a football club. With 2,400 members across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Spond’s largest UK club is a recreational football community built on inclusion, camaraderie, and a shared love for the game. The heart of the club is its ethos: Football is a game for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or fitness level.

Chairman and founder Steve Fletcher dedicates one day a week to managing this expansive network, an effort made possible through the administrative support provided by Spond. The intuitive sports team management tool has become an integral part of Solent’s operations, providing the foundation on which the club thrives.

“Spond has been instrumental in helping us manage the club.”

“We’re all about enjoying the game,” says Steve. “At Solent Sports FC, it’s not about winning, it’s about participation, camaraderie, and fun. Spond has been instrumental in helping us manage the club. It not only simplifies administration but also makes communication with members efficient, even with our large and geographically dispersed groups.”

With the introduction of the Spond Club management solution, Solent Sports FC has been able to streamline its payment process, making it easier for members to participate in games. The platform handles payments for games and training sessions, which range from £4 to £6.50, ensuring smooth transactions and enabling the club to pay for pitch fees and equipment, as well as providing free participation for those in financial difficulty.

More than just an administrative tool, Spond has also allowed Solent to extend its reach and inclusivity. With 47 different nationalities represented and numerous refugees among its members, the club stands as a testament to the power of sport in fostering community and promoting diversity.

This commitment to inclusivity has led to recognition from the Football Association for promoting women’s football and supporting mental health. Solent Sports FC’s work goes beyond the pitch, providing a space for friendship, human interaction, and support.

“We see first hand how football can have a profound impact on men’s mental health.”

Steve added: “We see first hand how football can have a profound impact on men’s mental health. The camaraderie, the physical activity, the sense of being part of a team – these can all be incredibly beneficial. In these challenging times, it’s crucial that we don’t underestimate the value of these simple interactions and activities. Mental health needs to be taken as seriously as any physical health issue, and we’re proud to be part of the push for greater awareness and action in this area.”

With no player in Hampshire or the Isle of Wight being more than 30 minutes drive from a Solent Sports FC session, the club now has ambitious plans for expansion, with a new branch in Belfast and groups being planned in Portugal and Australia. They are also increasing their support for women’s football and introducing other sports such as cricket.

As Solent Sports FC continues to grow, the club is living proof of how the right support, combined with a strong ethos of inclusivity and community, can create a thriving, dynamic, and truly inclusive sports club.