How to Start A Club

The Edinburgh University Sports Union has a diverse offering of 70 Sports Clubs from Archery to Windsurfing. We are always happy to welcome new clubs into our offering to make the sport offering at Edinburgh as inclusive as possible. Starting a club is no easy task but the following guide will help get you on track and the staff are always happy to support you!

Step 1: Check existing clubs and get in touch with the club’s committee

With 70 sports clubs already involved in the Sports Union we would encourage you to check out or current offering and see if the sports club you had in mind has any overlap with what we already offer. For example, if you wanted to start a Kyukoshin Karate club we would recommend you get in touch with the existing Karate club to see if you could incorporate that discipline into their offering. All of our clubs have emails you can use to contact the committees who will be more than happy to help. You can view our clubs here.

Step 2: Check whether starting a club is the right thing for you

It can be very rewarding to start and manage a sports club whilst at University, it does however require good commitment and passion for the sport to fulfil all the criteria presented below. You will be required to start a committee for the club so it would be helpful for you to have other students who are passionate about starting the club to help you.

Step 3: Ensure that your club model is well-considered and sustainable

For a club to be accepted as an associate club and then later on a full member club, the Executive Committee (comprised of fellow students and staff) will be looking at key areas around sustainability and longer-term commitment. The below questions will help you gauge if you are ready to make an application:

  1. Does your sport have a National Governing Body (NGB) that can support your club in the future and help organise events/competitions/officiating courses etc…?
  2. What benefits do you foresee in becoming an Edinburgh University Sports Union club?
  3. Who will become the club’s committee (President, Secretary & Treasurer as a minimum)? Who will take over once they graduate?
  4. Do you have a good understanding of how you would fund club activity whilst keeping the costs for students affordable?
  5. How does the club plan on growing to attract new members and develop over the next 6 months, 1 year, 5 years?

Step 4: Meet with the staff team

If you have carried out all of the above and feel confident that you can answer those 5 questions the next step would be to chat through your application with the Sports Union staff team. From here we can support you with things like completing a budget, recruiting new members by hosting taster sessions and writing you club’s constitution.

Step 5: Write your club’s constitution

Every club is required to have a constitution where you outline how the club is run, the committee structure, election process amongst other things. You can add certain elements in yourselves but below you can see a template which includes all of the mandatory clauses a club must have:

Club Constitution Template

Step 6: Recruit 25 members

In order to put forward an application you will have to submit a list of 25 student names committed to being paid members of your club with their corresponding University of Edinburgh matriculation numbers. This is the minimum requirement of members for a club to have. 

Club Membership List Template

Step 7: Write your club’s proposed budget

Each club is required to have a budget each year where they outline the income they predict on generating and the expenditure for that year. The income would constitute things like membership income, sponsorship deals or fundraising events whilst the expenditure might surround travel costs, coaching costs and kit. All associate clubs would be expected to be self-funded through their own income (memberships, sponsorships etc..). We have provided a template for you to use below:

Club Budget Template

Step 8: Submit your application

Once you have completed the above steps you can email with the relevant documents and the staff team will let you know how to submit an application.

Applications for any new clubs will be reviewed firstly by the Executive committee, which is composed of student volunteers as well as some staff and senior advisers. From there you will receive any feedback on your application. Following the Executive Committee approval the application will then be presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the start of March each year. At the AGM all 65 sports clubs will vote on whether to approve the new club in becoming an associate club at the Edinburgh University Sports Union.

In order for the application to be considered at the AGM all of the above steps would need to be completed before the 15th of February. As such we would suggest starting early! 


All associate clubs are entitled to:

Access to support from EUSU Staff in terms of future Club development;

Publicity from the Sports Union;

A club bank account;

Use of the Sports Union Office as a mail handler;

Even before becoming an associate club the Sports Union can support the costs of sessions through our EdEx programme to help promote participation in your sport.

Any associate club is able to apply for any of the below funds:

Coaching and Officiating fund - To support individuals to obtain qualifications to help their club;

Equipment Fund - For the purchase of equipment that will benefit the club;

Alumni Fund - Funds available from club alumni donations;

Representation Fund - To cover costs associated with athletes competing at the highest level (e.g. international travel and accomodation);

Reserve Fund - To cover any unforeseen costs incurred by a club (e.g. weather damage or accidents;

COVID Fund - Funds available for clubs whose finances have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. PPE purchases or loss of sponsorship);


When your first application to become a club is approved, you will become an associate club. Any associate club is entitled to all of the perks listed above. Once a club has demonstrated 2 years of activity and financial stability, they will be able to apply for full member status after which they will be entitled to a club grant;

You can view all of the details of an associate and full member club in Point 9 of the EUSU constitution;