Sub-menu Navigation

Club Membership Census 2018 is live

All RYA clubs invited to take part

All RYA clubs are invited to take part in the census via an e-mail from with a link to complete the online census.

To check to see if your club has already submitted data, click here.

To submit your club membership data, please click here.

By completing the census before 1200 on 13th August 2018, you will automatically be entered into a prize draw. One club will be selected at random to receive a £500 prize of their choice, and two additional clubs will each receive a £250 prize.

Our aim is to feedback to you the key observations, in the autumn via our team of Regional Development Officers and formally via publication of Regional Insights. In order that the Insights we produce are robust and credible, we need at least 85% of all affiliated clubs to respond to the Census each year. The more comprehensive the information you supply the more insightful and intelligent we can be about advising and support clubs going forwards.

2017 Club Membership Census Insights

The 2017 census was the fifth successive year with a very high level of response from RYA Affiliated Clubs in England of 85%.

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

In achieving such a high rate of response we are developing a 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 the number of club members in England is the highest since the census began in 2013 with an increase of 1.39% since 2016. 

Our confidence in this declaration 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.

Some other headline observations from the 2017 Census are:

  • Club membership has increased in the South West and London & South East regions. Most other regions are static with the South showing a slight decline. 
  • Churn rates (the overall proportion of club membership which leaves in any particular year) continue to increase, rising to 9.5% from 8.48% in 2016. 
  • There is a substantial amount of latent capacity (28%) within the English club network and the clubs have a high level of aspiration to grow their membership (77% of clubs aspire to grow membership in the next two years). 
  • The top 5 perceived reasons for membership growth have remained the same as 2015 and 2016 and continue to be a significant focus for the RYA Sport Development team. The factors associated with a declining membership have also remained the same, which increases our confidence in these being areas to address, in order for clubs to reverse the trend. An increased focus on mitigating against the reasons for membership decline will be critical to reducing the churn and securing overall membership growth going forwards.

On behalf of RYA Sport Development, we would like to thank you for your involvement in the census and for taking the time to compile and complete this year’s information. Your involvement and input are invaluable.

If you have any queries please e-mail

Find books for your course at the RYA Shop

eBooks in the cloud
Our handy guide shows the books & DVDs that go with your course!
Please select...