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Club Membership Insights 2015 is now live 

Club Membership Census Insights A summary of the 2015 Affiliated Club Membership Census is now available.

The Club Membership Insights  2015- England document has been produced in order to share the latest information and where relevant, our interpretation of what it means for your club, following the third annual Club Membership Census.

Information was collected from clubs in England from June to October 2015, and resulted in a response rate of 85%.

Similar censuses were conducted by RYA Scotland, RYA Northern Ireland and RYA Cymru-Wales.

 2015 Club Membership Census is complete

Thank you for participating in the RYA Club Membership Census 2015. This is the third successive year with a very high level of response (over 80%) from RYA Affiliated Clubs in England. In achieving such a high rate of response we are developing a very robust picture of club membership trends. Responses to some of the newer questions are generating important insight both for ourselves and clubs to track and pay attention to, in order to be most effective in the future.

With a high degree of confidence we are able to say that club membership across England is currently static or experiencing very slight growth. Our confidence in this assertion continues to increase year-on-year, as clubs are increasingly engaged in the provision of this data. The propensity for clubs to need to estimate some of these important figures (versus routinely monitoring this information) is declining.

Headline observations

  • Overall, the number of club members in England is static or experiencing very slight growth. Level of Confidence: High
  • Club membership is declining in the South and London & South East regions. Other regions are static or experiencing slight growth. Level of Confidence: Medium
  • Churn rates (the overall proportion of club membership which leaves in any particular year) are static or declining in the main, but increasing in London & South East region. Level of Confidence: Low
  • Some of the RYA regions which have significance in the context of overall participation rates for the sport are exhibiting some adverse trends, which we intend to monitor closely. Level of Confidence: Medium
  • There is a substantial amount of latent capacity within the English club network and the clubs have a high level of aspiration to grow their membership. Level of Confidence: High
  • Pleasingly, the top 5 perceived reasons for membership growth are a significant focus for the RYA Sport Development team and continue to receive substantial investment.
  • However, we believe an increased focus on mitigating against the reasons for membership decline will be critical to reducing the churn and securing overall membership growth.

What Next?

  • We encourage you to consider carefully the information presented, thinking about club membership levels and trends, churn, leavers and joiners and the degree to which your membership is frequently actively participating in the sport.
  • If possible make time within your relevant committee or management teams to discuss the information and appraise which elements or observations are most relevant to your club, and how you can use this information to inform club direction and development.
  • Plan to attend RYA Club Development Workshops throughout the Autumn and Winter, as well as the Club Briefing at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2016. These events offer an opportunity to look at some of the data gathered via the Census and throughout the year, in more detail. These are facilitated by our Development Team who are dedicated to supporting your club.

We greatly appreciate your cooperation in providing this information; helping us all to become more informed.

If you have any queries please e-mail

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