GDPR for Sports Clubs

GDPR in sports club

GDPR for Sports Clubs

Sports clubs make up the fabric of our lives.  They are hugely important for children, teenagers and adults alike.  Equally, there are willing volunteers who give up their time to run many sports clubs.


The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25th May 2018.  Commonly referred to as GDPR, this data protection legislation applies to all ‘organisations’ who process personal data.  Therefore, GDPR refers to sports clubs data, regardless of size, because clubs are processing personal data.


GDPR responsibilities in Sports Clubs

The bar for the processing of personal data and to be GDPR compliant in sports clubs has been set to Olympic levels of high.  This is because the penalties for failure are greater, while the standards for compliance are higher.


Consequently, the need to be constantly compliant with the regulations can be a tough regime for many sports clubs.


Data Collection

In order for sports clubs to function, they must, naturally, collect significant amounts of personal data.

If you run a sports club, you have a responsibility for the safeguarding of players and children.  So, you will be collecting and processing data referred to in the data protection regulations as Special Category data.  For example,

  • Sensitive data – personal data such as medical information
  • Child data –  data you hold about children up until the age of 16


It is precisely because sports clubs collect personal information which is both sensitive data and child data, that you are processing high-risk personal data.  Therefore your processes for personal data have to meet tough GDPR standards.


Therefore, it is crucial that clubs understand what personal data they hold, how they secure it and who has access to it.


Equally, clubs need to ensure that they have collected and logged appropriate consent to process this special category data and then they must ensure this data is lawfully processed.


So, we provide consultancy services to help club volunteers or staff who are unsure of how to manage this.


Data Breaches

Data breaches involving special category data carry the likelihood of being reportable to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the ICO.  Additionally, they also carry a greater risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, resulting in hefty fines.


Consequently, staff and volunteers must know how to secure all personal information in their possession.


Also, the person in your club responsible for GDPR compliance must understand what to do if a data breach has occurred.


So, this means that any sports club that processes personal data must ensure that steps are in place to prevent data breaches.  Equally, procedures must be in place to manage data breaches when they happen.


Subject Access requests

It is also important that staff and volunteers understand what to do in the event that a parent or teenager requests access to their personal data.


Importantly, this is known as a subject access request and they must respond to them within 30 days.


We can help

We provide an Annual Audit and Advice service, ideal for clubs who require the comfort of an annual review and ongoing telephone support for their administration teams if needed.


Alternatively, we can offer Advice only, as a service, and this is priced by the hour.


Data Protection Officer

Additionally, many clubs do not have a Data Protection Officer, perhaps because they are not legally obliged to have one.


However, sports clubs must have someone in the club who is responsible for ensuring the club is meeting their responsibilities under GDPR.


Our experience is that people often have this responsibility without appropriate training, support or mentoring.


Crucially, this person has many responsibilities under the data protection regulations.  Will this individual know what steps to take?


So, we can help by providing Data Protection Officers as an outsourced service.  Alternatively, we offer a flexible Annual Audit and Advice service to support the individuals in the club who have been assigned data protection responsibilities.


Additionally, we offer online training for staff or volunteers, to give them the confidence to do their jobs well.


It’s an easy win

Whether your club is large or small, your data risks are high due to the type of data you must collect and process.


Equally, the standards you must apply are tougher simply because sensitive and child personal information is being processed.


Therefore, let us help you with our range of flexible services, at a price that won’t break the bank.



Collaboration with the wider community

We are members of the International Association of Privacy ProfessionalsData Protection ForumInformation & Records Management Society and the National Association of Data Protection Officers.


Often, we attend industry events arranged by the ICO and World Data Protection Forum and are proud to be engaged with the Data Engineering and AI communities working together with them to build privacy solutions into our digital and AI futures.


In addition, through our network of  partners and associated specialist companies we can offer our clients:

  • Legal advice on GDPR –revision of contracts and HR requirements.
  • Technology companies providing software solutions for compliance.
  • Specialist sector partners to build online training courses for medical practices, clubs, tech start-ups.
  • IT Security & Cyber Security protection.
  • Insurance protection for GDPR and Data & Cyber Breaches.


We are small enough to care yet large enough to offer a wealth of knowledge and solutions to our clients.




In the UK, the Data Protection Act 2018 came into force on 25th May 2018 which replaced the Data Protection Act 1998 and broadly adopted the GDPR framework.


Finally, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and the e-Privacy Directive in the EU, govern digital communications.  These regulations apply to businesses, limited companies, partnerships, sole traders, sports clubs and charities who process personal data.


Be Data SMART. Be Compliant.

Data Protection is here to stay.

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