Sharing is caring for your club
Whether a casual BBQ or an annual celebration, food is an important part of the way we celebrate and come together as sporting communities.
We often talk about the benefits of great food when it comes to on-field performance and physical health, but sharing food as a club also has an important impact. Food brings people together, helping to improve mental health, connection and even club revenue.
Learning from Bundoora UNITED FC
Good Sports club, Bundoora United has come a long way in the past year and food has been key to their success story. A year ago, the club started DA Kitchen (named after the head chefs Dennis and Alex) and what began as a BBQ dinner designed to feed hungry players and parents after the Friday night game quickly became a community institution.
We spoke to Bundoora United Football Club about DA Kitchen and how the food has helped to improve the club culture and bring the community together.
Communicating and connecting over food
We spend a lot of time with our teammates on the field, but sharing a meal together is a different chance to hang out. At the dining table, tactics and game-day don’t have to be a part of the discussion and family and friends can feel included. This kind of connection can be important for the wellbeing of club members, encouraging teammates to connect on a deeper level.
Stephanie, a parent who volunteers at Bundoora United each week is proud of the way that DA Kitchen has united the club community. A year on, neighbours and even rival club members are regulars at the event.
“The kids are outside having fun and it’s a time to sit back, have a great meal and just be part of the community and feel part of the club.”
Building club culture
Cook a BBQ and people will swarm! While in the past, Bundoora United parents were likely to pick up their kids without interacting with the community, food is an excuse for them to stick around.
Nowadays, parents mingle while the juniors continue to play. It’s a great, family-friendly way to kick-off the weekend and it’s led to a big improvement in the culture of the club.
Part of what makes DA Kitchen so successful is a group of committed and hard-working volunteers. Head down to the kitchen of a Friday night and you’ll see members young and old pitching in where they can.
According to club President Andrew, volunteers are buoyed by the impact that the event has on the community.
“We’ve been fortunate with the number of members that we have… and the culture that we’ve created that we have no problem having volunteers put their hands up to come and help us.”
Along with the great spread of healthy, home-cooked food, this type of behaviour sets an important example for the juniors at the club. At DA Kitchen, people come for the food and stay for the community feel.
A healthier revenue stream
Financially, DA Kitchen has been super for Bundoora United. The club limits food wastage by encouraging members and guests to RSVP via the Team App if they plan on buying a meal. They also encourage sponsors to attend the event. This helps to strengthen the relationship, giving local funders a chance to interact with the club community.