Clubs could save the world by bringing people together
COMMUNITY clubs play a vital role in the Australian community and provide 22,000 jobs across Queensland.
The 2018 Clubs Queensland annual report revealed clubs returned more than $850 million in social contributions and generated more than $2.2 billion for Queenland's economy.
The Waves Sports Club chief executive officer Brendan Royall said clubs were an important part of the community.
"I think people like still like to be part of groups and connect - we've seen a bit of an uplift in the amount (sic) of people that do come together to meet up,” Mr Royall said.
"Last year with our community and socio- economic contributions, we contributed money to our affiliated sub-clubs, sporting clubs around $720,000 and to non-affiliated clubs $35,000 and also non-affiliated community organisations $515,000.
"Our local employment bill is around $4 million annually, we've put in about $100,000 into staff training and development and the purchase of goods and services from local suppliers is about $2.4million.”
Mr Royall said he believed clubs would always be an integral part of the community.
"With social media and technology it's becoming a day-to-day thing and not a luxury,” he said.
"The point of difference is clubs are somewhere you can go and catch up with people face to face.
"I think clubs need to look at diversifying what they offer, trying to create places out of spaces, unique selling points and raising the bar with their food and beverage offerings and definitely keep up with what's on trend.”
Clubs Queensland chief executive officer Doug Flockhart said clubs were important community hubs for social interaction.
Mr Flockhart said 60 per cent of people primarily visited clubs for a meal, while 15 per cent went for a drink.
"We shouldn't forget that many Queenslanders enjoy community clubs and pubs as places to spend time and create memories with their families and friends,” he said.
As part of AHG Expo week events, New York global consumer trends expert Maxwell Luthy of Trend- Watching will speak in Queensland next week.
Mr Luthy had some bold prediction for community clubs.
"I don't say this lightly: clubs can save the world,” he said.
"The digital arena is a polarised and hard-to-navigate twilight zone today. The value of in-person interactions, a sense of belonging and connection to a local community is higher than ever before.”
"The last 24 months have demonstrated the limitations of the digital platforms we use. From fake news to polarisation, the impact has reached every country.
"People are hungry for a sense of belonging. This is an urgent challenge and a massive opportunity.”